Skip to main content

Full text of "Modern Light Bearers: Addresses Celebrating the Centennial of Religious Journalism"

See other formats


(elcbrating the^ntennial 

• or \ 

I^ligious Journalism 



,,i j5 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 

I do in the first place publicly declare, that the 
Holy Scriptures which contain a revelation of tlie 
will of God. are the only sure, authentic and infal- 
lible Rule of the faith and practice of every Chris 
tian, by which all opinions are to be fairly and im- 
partially examined: and in consecpience of this, I 
do protest against setting np and allowing the de- 
crees of any man, or body of men, as of equal au- 
thority and obligation with the word of God; wheth- 
er they be councils, syncjds, convocations, assoicia- 
tions, missionary societies, or general assemblies : 
whether ancient or modem, Romish, Episcopal. 
Presbyterian, Congregational, Baptist, or Method- 
ist, Popes, Fathers, or Doctors of Divinity. 

— Elias l^mitJi. 


(Born June 17, 1769. Died June 29, 1846) 

The Founder of Religious Jouknalism 

Modern Light Bearers 

t^* 5^?* !,^ 

Celebratiuo; the Centennial 


Religious Journalism 



Editor Herald of Gospel Liberty- 

Dayton, Ohio 

Christian Publishing Association 



WILSON r-' ^ 




^ m FLI \S NMni! 




WBi^RSDW ElEMiC, t)|I'TE^tK I 

, iftoa^ 

1 07 1 


«.,.,. „tC . »«„,„,.„.„,„ .™,.,, 

10 convulse Uk 
ace in ct grtrat r 

inSK^ M M hat oianj aT< no' 

i> obuiin, and olhe t (though 1 u 
numbers] bjre%eTj posabie rncxn afibeadt.. 

LUtUpriKitnt ol 

in mis tountl^ to thi -leai aavan i„. i t Vil 

^^oojandilie jnd o! tJi u ^nd-i hU, cstc nr>i 

^^nhe i>ettple t ut wbil^ 

a )p*e people b.(k1 < i be 

I the nations »hwh «-nd*-av( 

ofthf nt^litfi which Cfrt) lia- 

nwn Kith all nation* multiMiN are enslartti 

J with the prai iplfsbro t Irom Luropt by tbfi*i 

(H^jeho farsl seultd this country Hud Geur^ tltc 

* Aji-J when h^ viithdren !m troups from lUf 

^f»mitTj, withdran-n all the pnnnplcs rr^ptct 

fSig ciTil and rcUgioya affii rv, whtth jrc mop- 

Jbosttion to rtie nghts of msmkmd we should 

Save been a much more otmed ajid happj pto 

pie tbia we mm arp bi i alas ' it^ .irc kf* 

' aro-jag m like Hx Canaamtca n aiKieot Uutcs, 

to be overccrme by liute and little , and like 

I the mtij of Gog whKh h:U opoft tbe nwiiu 

I tafei* <j/ Israel ibcy ore to bt burl'^ by «lcn 

^^ploTcd for that purpose while everj paas 

a^ftoger n to erect a mommipm, ^vierever be 

finds a bone in fan wnv Jt w not now a ♦^ 

^ ranDical goromnrent n'htth depnves 05 of Z^- 

f tTti/ : bat the higbly deaimctivt. prim-iple! 

of tyranny wtuchremam in a good goreraiuent ; 

and though lihcse principles are doI protected' 

•^ law. ytt mcn'i aUacbmeot 10 thcaa m a 

nee gorenon^i, pretnpQU tbo riyo^-ment of 

Xcfrrprnhkii God bas giren oe aodflhicUaU 

e-'tjLttished prim iplc ^itb mt tha 
lit. mttn V tiu appt RTB Hi any public ttn ilc am. 
a Unhfejl i> hif (ftfvj H-iJl bjicaduubn-char 
, bv the unjust and ihcm i^lwjiid^i 
irotn tJic trstiinoD\ 'ii lucb he wjU bt 
ercd a distiirbir of tbt. pea<.-c 
world UfMidt* down and siimaff up t\if people 
U> rcfolt ^01 \i\ (he well infiiniiwi lowers «t 

u ho ciherw w Wwuid set in <farkaefr<; rherL 
no doubt la Ta% niiiiJ U«liii8nv«ill Iw- <ii 

jile-weJ at what lOaj -ippea^ m il 1 pBpi r from 
n- unkss ihcy oflu thai n^ht u e 

quai among nil 

ll'j^ dilficult Uie taikroaj be which w now 

lettdken 1* unknonii 
Mia,— tnu bo«e*L 
1 stRad\ Aud pTr>ev«i 
and the general ii^ood ot mm ,'Aod to inj# 

ry ibing m a fair and niaiUy -na-^ , not 
scandatymi^ anj or doing any thiog bv pai 
tiiiliti should an^ svandalizt thcmwUi-' l>) 
bad Conduct , li.t tliun aot clmrgc jl 10 iiii. 
If men do not uish to have bad ibmg^ ajkI of 
ihtnH It-t them not- do bad thingi. Ii is m\ 
dc ign in the foUoniiij, number? to givf a jiUm 
dccnplion of the rii,hts of men lud U) hint 
the pnncipir on %*htch thej ire IooimIltI and 
likt-WLxe to eliCTv tlu. opposite Tbrre are ma- 
ny tlnQ^ taking, place 111 the prestn^ day re 
BpettiQj; reb^ion, wbicb vill be noticed ai 
iht-y occur. A partit.-alar attaJtlon will be 
paid to the accounts of rerivaii of religion in 
diScreol parts of the sorld, among the varioos 
denobmatiom tvbo c^ Jesus Xbrd as far a? 
It can be obtuned. 

A rebgwuxs IVew^psper u -ihno*. a new 
tbtiig ooder the nm , I know iiot btit tbi^i i» 


1 -t knowledge ol thit M.r'i- 
■ latUrs ble-j, ami lor ^hu h 

) desciibTiu 
Uberty tC 

h e advan 

ta^r- Livt. l^t.i maii .ts to; 
eral knoirlf l_i. -f In. noH 1 

ft m-ij. L< tint 1 uf m-i\ »i ft to knot" 
wh\ thi.paiwTttiouidbT_iWiiw.dth4 !Ubm» 
OF f ^ fii. ill,Lhl^ Hi kJidof fibcrtv 
IS the i>nu OIK- tthiLh can mal e os iwppj fae- 
inj, tin g!on.>uj Li!m t\ of ibc ^oui oi 0«d 
vhich <.bnsi proc' iimcnl , aod wbith all who 
hive arc etimrted if j-Iiut? fxt in, hcin^ tliat 

Uitb K enen and cn,i \p<l 'ry tin ],twnt I ib 

tUcla« of 
sill jnd (kith 

Iii (hi-; pla ( r giro the meannrg of t^f 
word H'Tulii Jlii« wonl is dtnw.-d from llio 
•^xsonwov^ il refuufi anti bj abbn nation 
UeruU* 9.hti.ii to. that iangna^e tipttfie* tin 
Champion of an anu\ and jjroiMiig to be ft 
aana(» ot office, iitkw gneij lohioiwho, mihc 
fiiTDy, had tlie ?pedffl charjjetodeiWaDCC^S^i', 
to cbaUcugo tc b^iitie and combal, tftp^SScraim 
peace, aad to e\eta'e martial mestOgc* _ Ti(P 
bostnefls of an Herald in th^ B[^uh ^HHfs^ 
Goesl la. as fullovrs — To mar^^utt. or^r ^ 
coaduet all royal cnakodos, c«etnoo«s "k 
coccftatieob royal ntarr iges bittaCahoni^.cfe' 

^ '^jr.. 

First page of the first i^suo of the first religious newspaper— 
greatly reduced. 


In Meeting — Introductokt 7 

Portsmouth and the CentenxiaL;, by Rev. A. H. Morrill, D. D. 9 

Addresses of Welcome, by Rev. F. H. Gardner, Hon. Wallace 
Hackett and Rev. A. H. Morrill 15, 19 ,21 

Response to the Addresses of Welcojie, by Hon. O. W. 

Whitelock 27 

The Religious Press, the Exponent of Religious Freedom, 
by Rev. F. H. Peters 35 

Type Metal, by Mr. S. D. Gordon 47 

Religious Journalisji for Young People, by Prof. Amos R. 

Wells 53 

The Moral Influence of Religious Journalism, by Rev. A. 

C. Youmans 65 

Historical Sketch of the Morning Star, by Rev. G. C. 

Waterman 73 

The Development of Baptist Journalism, by Rev. Jos. S. 

Swaim 83 

The Herald of Gospel Liberty — An Historical Address, by 
Rev. Daniel B. Atkinson 91 

Other Denominational Publications, by Prof. J. N. Dales.. 109 

The Educational Influence of Religious Journalism, by 
Rev. Martyn Summerbell, D. D 113 

Principles and Progress of Religious Liberty, by Rev. W. 

W. Staley, D. D 127 

Zion's Herald, by Rev. A. J. Northrup, Ph. D 137 

Unitarian Journalism, by Rev. Alfred Gooding 149 

The Centennial of Religious Journalism, by Rev. Anson 

Titus .V ,.;... .' 153 

The Genius of the Christian Movement, bv Rev. J. Presslev 

Barrett, D. D '. 159 

Fellowship in Journalism . .4« m* ^^.-^^v.-. 173 

The Press and Missions, Ijy Rev. O. W. Powers, D. D 185 

Hundred Years of Religious Journalism, liv Rev. J. O. At- 
kinson, D. D 193 

Minutes of the Centennial uf Relkjious Journalism, by 
Rev. Carlyle Summerbell, D. D 203 

Bibliography of Elias Smith, by Rev. Anson Titus 207 


In Meeting — 

We introduce our friends hy name. So permit 
me to present to you MODERN LIGHT BEARERS. 
The name is a sufficietit introduction, since the hook 
tells the story of the 'beginning, growth and influence 
of ^'Religious Journalism/' as it has wrought so 
mightily to give to the Twentieth Century the hest 
Christian civilization the tvorld has ever seen, and 
to the church the hest equipment for service it has 
had in its history as a means of reaching ajid teach- 
ing the people. Another has said tluit the "Relig 
ious Neirspapcr" is the tDiircrsity for the people. 
{See page 123.) 

Elias Smith, the founder of the first religious 
neicspaper, ivas a prophet, and more than a prophet, 
for he planned for things he had not yet seen, and 
accomplished a greater work than ever he dreamed 
of — and he richly deserves a place of love and honor 
in the hearts of all Chy^istians^ and — a monument in 
some enduring form tJmt shall perpetuate to coming 
generations a, proper estimate of his tcorth to the 
church and to the world, emphasizing the nohility of 
Jiis character, the strength of his wisdom, the cour- 
age of his heart, the faith of his life and the fruitful- 
ness of his lahors among and for men. 

September 15-11, 1908, representative men from 
various denominations assemMed in the city of 
Portsmouth, N. H., down by the sea, ivhere one hun- 
dred years before, Elias Smith began religious jour- 

nalism in the jmhlication of the "Herald of Gospel 

The addresses delivered on that occasion are herein 
given to the puMic as in some measure indicating the 
appreciation of the life and labors of Elias Smith as 
a prophet and a reformer. But this book will best 
tell its own story in its own way, and to this end 
we leave it and the reader together. 

Dayton, Ohio. December 25, 1908. 



Of course the most fitting place in which to celebrate 
the Centennial of Religious Journalism was that where 
the paper had its beginning, the old city of Portsnunitli. 
N. H. 

Not only is Portsmouth the only seaport along the eighteen 
miles of the New Hampshire coast, but it is one of the 
oldest towns in New England, and hence is rich in historic 

It is claimed that Captain Martin Pring, a skillful navi- 
gator of Bristol, England, under commission of the mer- 
chants of that city, came to the New World, and was the 
actual discoverer of New Hampshire, entering the harbor 
of Portsmouth some seventeen years before the landing of 
the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Mass. 

In 1614, the celebrated Captain .John Smith, the founder 
of Virginia, came to Portsmouth and praised the river at 
this point because of its depth, which at low tide is not 
less than forty-five feet, making it one of the finest harbors 
on the Atlantic coast. 

The regular settlement of Portsmouth was made in 
1623, though that portion where permanent dwellings were 
erected is now within the bounds of the present town of 
Rye. In 1G31, the "Great House," so called, was built 
at the corner of Court and Water Streets, and from that 
time on the town has been growing until it covers its 
present area. In its earlier days, the settlement was kn.>wii 
as "Strawberry Bank," because many strawberries grew 
upon what was known as Church Hill, but in 1653, in 
response to a jietiticm made by the inhabitants, the name 
was changed to Portsmouth. 

While a century seems a long time to most of us, and 
while the last century has been one in which remarkable 


progress has been made, yet the town where the first es- 
tablished religious paper celebrated its one hundred years 
of life had a history reaching back nearly one hundred and 
ninety years, with at least two church organizations having 
a history of two hundred and seventy years, the Congre- 
gational and St. John's Protestant Episcopal churches, while 
another has a history of about two hundred years. Be- 
sides these three churches, the Christian church is antedated 
by only the Universalist chvirch, the other seven churches 
being of more recent establishment than the Christian. 

It is eminently appropriate that the Centennial Exercises 
should be held in other churches as well as in the Chris- 
tian church. It was a celebration of Religious Journalism. 
as well as the centennial of the Herald of Gospel Liberty. 
The Congregational, Unitarian and Universalist church or- 
ganizations are all older than the Herald, though their 
houses of worship are each less than a century old, while 
the Methodist church, in which one service was also held, 
was erected in 1827, yet the church was organized in 1.S0S. 
■ and is thus of the same age as the Herald. 

Among the places of historic interest visited by many of 
those attending the Centennial, was old St. John's church, 
where the ''Vinegar Bible"'* was seen, as well as Memorial 
Tablets, the pew occupied by Daniel Webster, the bell that 
was captured from the French at Louisburg, and once 
recast by Paul Revere, and once since, now used to summon 
the worshipers to the services of this ancient church, and 
other objects of interest. 

Some of the delegates saw the first pipe organ brought 
to America, now in the chapel of St. John's church. It 
was brought from England in 1709 or 1710, and was set 
up first in a private house in Cambridge. Mass.. later in 
King's Chapel, Boston, then in St. Paul's church, New- 
buryport, and in 1836 it was bought for $450, and brought 
to this chapel where it has since remained. 

Another place of interest, and more than a century old. 
is the Portsmouth Navy Yard, located on an island which 

* Called the "Vinegar Bible" because in one passage the word 
vineyard was spelled vinegar. — Editor. 


is a part of the town of Kittery, Maine, which many visited 
at the close of the celebration, having opportunity to view 
tlie room where the treaty between Japan and Russia was 
signed, us well as enjoying the privileges of going aboard 
a war vessel that was anchored at the yard. 

It was also a matter of interest that the first religious 
newspaper in the United States was printed upon the same 
press on which the first paper in New Hampshire, 77/ e 
Xcic Hampshire Gazette, was printed, and also to know that 
that paper, begun October 7, 1756, has been published con- 
tinuously until the present day. That press was exhibited 
at the World's Fair in Chicago, 1S93, and is owned now by 
a printing press company in New York City. 

Another religious enterprise, in which almost all Chris- 
tians at the present time take great interest, the Sunday- 
school, found hearty supporters in Portsmouth in its in- 
fancy. In 1803, Mrs. Amos Tappan, the sister of the pastor 
of the North Congregational church, gathered the negro 
children at her house on Sundays and gave tl^eni religious 
instruction, while that church established a Sunday-school 
in its vestry in 1818, which was removed to Jefferson Hall 
after a little time, where children of all denominations 
received instruction. 

The city itself, with its stately old business blocks, several 
more than a century old, its many mansions built before 
the l»irth of the Herald, yet well preserved, as well as its 
many modern buildings and homes, its beautiful school 
buildings and inviting churches, its swiftly flowing river 
:;rd iiircly sliaded streets, its invigorating atniosiihere laden 
with the odor of the ocean but three miles away, the cordial 
wi'lcoiiie ai'd hrotlierly fellowship of the pastors and 
churches of the various denominations, all conspired to 
make the two or three days sojourn of the delegates and 
visitors of great delight, adding much to the interest of 
I lie important anniversary that was the reason for this 

Whatever was the spirit of the people of Portsmouth a 
hundred years ago, whatever of sectarian rivalry or de- 
nominational intolerance might then have prevailed, cer- 


tainly during the three days of the Centennial there was 
an exemplification of the one hundred and thirty-third 
Psalm and the evidence that the Savior's prayer in the 
seventeenth chapter^of John vi^as answered in a large degree. 
so far as the Christians of Portsmouth, and those visiting 
the city, were concerned. 

No less than ten different denominations were represented 
by their presence or participation in the meeting. 

But the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peaceful 
and delightful fellowship were constantly in evidence. 

When the two-hundreth anniversary of Religious Jour- 
nalism is celebrated, at which none of us. who were privi- 
leged to attend the recent Centennial, will be present, ex- 
cept in spirit, if the advancement in the line of true prog- 
ress shall be as great as that of the past hundred years, 
the millenium must be near at hand, and the world must 
be very nearly under the complete dominion of the King 
of kings. 

Alva H. Morrill. 

Lacoiiin. N. H. 


Headquarters of the Centennial Celebration 



Welcome from the Court Street Christian Church 

BY REV. F. H. GARDNER, Pastor 

Mr. President and Delegates to the Centennial of Relig- 
ious Journalism :— 

I am reminded to-night of a picture which appeared on 
the front cover of The Endeavor World, some two or three 
years ago. 

The father and mother had begun the Thanksgiving din- 
ner alone, but in the midst of it, the stage drove up 
;U'd wlien the motlier arrived at tlie window slie saw 
her boy coming toward the door. The feeling of glad de- 
light written on the faces of the old people, I shall never 
forget. Glad as was the young man, happier far were 
they who welcomed him home. 

In one of my parishes, I had a very fine, elderly woman, 
whose boys were away from home the greater part of the 
time. They always seemed to enjoy a visit to the village, 
but it meant vastly more to that mother, shut out from 
the world at large, to have her sons come home to her. 

So, after a century of time, you have come back home ; 
to the first home of the Herald of Gospel Liberty, the 
birthplace of Religious Journalism. As much as this may 
mean to you, I am quite sure that it means much more 
to us. 

There is something about one's birthplace that seems 
almost like sacred ground. One of my teachers, speaking of 
the home of his childhood said to me : "Yes, I have sold the 
farm, but I have reserved the right to roam over the lots, 
to peek into the barn, and to pick up some apples in the 
orchard. I couldn't give it all up." 



So, to-iiigbt as you gather here to celebrate this anni- 
versary, we welcome you back to the sacred spot of the 
birthplace of Religious Journalism. 

I am reminded in your gathering here that we are not to 
despise the day of small things. It was only a switch, 
turned by a young woman which caused the fifty tons of 
dynamite to explode in the blasting of Henderson's Point, 
just below our city. The key pin in machinery is a very 
small piece of iron, but a most essential part in the oper- 
ating of the same. 

I do not believe for a moment that there would be many 
pulpits open to Elder Elias Smith, if he were among u^ 
now as he was a century ago, but in the sending forth of 
that little four-page Herald from his home on Jeffrey Street 
he set in motion an influence which to-day touches every 
race on the face of the whole earth. 

In many ways religious journalism is a greater power 
for the kingdom of God than is the pulpit itself. I am not 
ashamed of our Herald of to-day, but let me call it simply 
the match which has started all this fire of religious journal- 
ism and who is there of us that would not feel justly proud 
to be the promoter of that match? 

I am reminded, too, of the humble beginnings of other 
great and potent agencies, which are at work for the up- 
lift of mankind. The kneeling of those college boys around 
the hay-stack as the beginning of modern missions ; the 
gathering of those few boys by George Williams in that 
upper room as the beginning of the Y. M. C. A., with its 
magnificent buildings and its work among men of all class- 
es; the assembling of those street boys in Sooty Alley bv 
Robert Raikes as the starting of our great Sunday-schcol 

I believe this city ought to feel a just pride in giving 
birth to a movement whose hundredth anniversary we are 
about to celebrate. I can say as pastor of this church, I 
rejoice that we can boast that it was the founder of this 
church who first gave to the world a religious newspaper. 

In nearly every town or city one will find some historic 
place which is almost sacredly guarded by the residents of 


that section. More than likely, it may not have much 
bearing on the world outside, but to those whose ancestors 
had a part in its history, it means very much. I do not 
know that the sermons of Elder Elias Smith have much 
bearing on the world of to-day. One thing is evident, that 
the outgrowth of Christian fellowship and the desire to 
spread the news of God's kingdom on earth, two important 
things for which he contended, are everywhere manifested. 

In closing, I would say that we are here to-night ful- 
filling prophecy. It is not well for me to open the full 
history of the ministerial life of a century ago. Could they 
be here to-night, they would be the happiest of us all. 
History may portray that they had conflicts, and quarrels, 
and no use for each other, but I think it was more of a 
case of a misunderstanding. A century has had to elapse 
to bring around their hopes ; and this gathering of these 
days in the different churches of our city is the fulfillment 
for which they all contested. 

I have felt somewhat out of place in extending these 
words of greeting at this time. It has seemed to me, that 
one whose ministry goes back to the earlier days of our 
church life, who was pastor of this church in the close of 
the sixties and the opening of the seventies, and who still 
worships with us might better have been chosen. I refer to 
the Rev. C. P. Smith. Or one whose pastorate was the longest 
since that of Elder Smith, Rev. John A. Goss. Or better 
still, he who did so much to the upbuilding of the church, 
and the oldest living ex-pastor. Rev. Thomas Holmes. 

However, in the name of the entertaining churches of 
Rye, Kittery and Portsmouth, in behalf of a long line of 
godly men who have served this church as pastors, I bid 
you welcome to the old home of the Herald of Gospel Lib- 
erty, the scene of the birthplace of Religious Journalism. 

Portsmouth, N. H. 


Welcome from the City 


I aui happy to extend to yoii the greetings of the City of 
Portsmoutli and a cordial welcome. We are glad to have 
you come to onr old and historic city to hold your cele- 
bration. It is most fitting and appropriate to do so. 

Portsmouth has been singularly fortunate in its associa- 
tion with certain great moral and historical events. This 
centennial observance of yours is not the least among them. 
I will not enlarge upon this event, as it is more fully 
within your knowledge than my own. But I will call your 
attention briefly to one or two occurrences of a similar 
nature which make good my claim that this locality is 
entitled to your veneration as the home and the starting 
place of certain influences whicla have grown as the country 
has grown, until now the modest days of their beginning 
are treasured among the valued memories of the past. 

Here one of the earliest newspapers published in this 
country was established. It is still published here and has 
now the honor of being the oldest publication with a con- 
tinuous and unbroken existence in the United States. The 
Nrin Hampshire Gazette, established October 7, 1756. 
by Daniel Fowle. still appears weekly, as it has for more 
than a hundred and fifty years. 

In October, 1,8.56, the centennial anniversary of the in- 
troduction of printing in New Hampshire was celebrated in 
this city. It was a celebration worthy of the cause. A general 
holiday was observed. The town was decorated ; a large milita- 
ry and civil procession occurred: an orator of the day. a 
banquet, and speeches and letters from distinguished in- 
dividuals followed in due course; all indicating the im- 
portance of the ('vent in the minds of the people of that 

The Portayiiottth ■foitnuiJ, 170.3, published here until quite 
recently, originally under the name of the "Oracle of the 


Day," enjoyed, aside from its able publishers, the editor- 
ship of some of our most eminent citizens. 

Daniel Webster commenced in its columns his career as 
a political writer. Levi Woodbury, Governor, United States 
Senator, and Judge of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, was a frequent contributor. 

Probably the earliest religious magazine published in 
America had its home here. The "Piscataqua Evangelical 
Magazine" began publication in 1805, but not possessing 
the strength and virility of the Herald of Gospel Liberty, 
it did not long endure. It is a very rare thing for any 
magazine, especially one devoted to a particular line of 
thought and development, to have as long and honorable 
career as that of the publication whose centennial is about 
to be observed. 

Among the literary celebrities in the early days of this 
city was the gifted and profligate Joseph Bartlett, whose 
poems and aphorisms were celebrated in tlieir day. At 
the funeral of John Hale he recited a poem containing 
this epigram : 

God takes the good 

Too good by far to stay ; 
And leaves the bad, 

Too bad to take away. 

It was in these surroundings and in a company of men, 
who were giants in their day, that Elias Smith felt the 
call to publish his Herald of Gospel Liberty. That it 
has continued a hundred years diffusing hope, comfort and 
inspiration in countless households and among myriads of 
individuals, is a subject of great congratulation and pride. 
His work has passed on to your able hands. You 
should realize, as I have no doubt you do, that you are 
trustees for posterity, and pass the trust along to your 
successors in undiminished strength and usefulness. 

In conclusion I want to say that the City of Portsmouth 
feels honored by your presence here on this occasion. We 
trust its purposes may be most successful and gratifying ; 
that you will enjoy your short stay with us ; and I par- 
ticularly commend to your attention the many historical 
places of interest which are easily accessible. 


Welcome from New England 


President of the New England Christian Convention 

Mr. President and Friends : — You have already listened 
to words of greeting and welcome from the pastor of this 
church, from the president of the local Ministers' Associa- 
tion and from His Honor, the Mayor, and surely you and 
those with you who have come a full day's journey to 
the birthplace of Religious Journalism, properly to celebrate 
this Centennial, an event of far-reaching importance, must 
begin to feel at home in Yankee land. But that you may 
be relieved of the last remnant of doubt, I am to speak a 
word of welcome for all the people of New England who 
acknowledge as their denominational name the simple title 
of Christian. 

Be assured, then, in their behalf, that you are several 
thousand times welcome within our borders, to this his- 
toric seaport of the "Old Granite State," to this birthplace 
of the first religious journal in the new world. We welcome 
you because we are glad to fellowship the members of our 
denominational family. 

As you have fostered and sustained the Herald of Gos- 
pel Liberty for the last forty years, we are glad to wel- 
come your visit to the old home, as the people of this 
state welcome the return of their sons and daughters dur- 
ing "Old Home Week." 

Little did Elias Smith forecast the future when he sent 
forth that first copy of the Herald of Gospel Liuebty, 
Se])t(MnI)er 1, l.SOS, a diminutive sheet of only foui' i);es. 
that one hundred years later the centennial of that paper 
would be celebrated in the city of its birth, the scene of 
his labor for several years, attended with deprivation, 
trials and sacrifice. Little did he think that the child of 
his tears, prayers and labors, grown in one hundred years 



to a stalwart thirty-two-page paper, would become one of 
a company of able journals whose mission is the advocacy 
of the gospel, the heralding of glad tidings, telling of the 
work of millions of Christians, among whom there is the 
splendid spirit of Christian fraternity, which causes us 
almost to forget that any of the great family of Christians 
are of any other than our own fold. Little did he think 
that such a celebration as this would take place, and that 
the doors of the Methodist, Congregational, Unitarian and 
Universalist churches, as well as our own, would be open 
for these services. 

How great results have been achieved from how small 
and humble beginnings ! Then, Mr. President, I would 
have you and your associates assured that your New Eng- 
land welcome is from all Christian people, and all those 
who are friends of the cause of Christ and Christian work. 
While I have no official relationship to all the churches of 
New England, I think I know enough of the spirit of 
Christians of every name in this section to assure you that 
the welcome I am privileged officially to give you is truly 
representative of the Christian greeting which the one 
great family, including all the folds, would give you if the 
opportunity were theirs. 

Such a celebration as this could not have occurred one 
hundred years ago ! Think of it ! Our program has on it 
representatives of several denominatins, while yet others 
are deeply interested in this celebration. 

The world is being bound more closely together. Material 
advancement is overcoming petty jealousies and national 
hostilities. r^ducational institutions art' doiui; luufli to 
realize the brotherhood of nations. The gospel seeks to 
bring all men into the realization of universal oneness and 
sympathy, because we are all the children of God, and are 
to live together as brethren and sisters of God's family. 
The burden of bringing the blessed gospel to the acceptance 
of every nation, class, rank, condition of humanity, rests 
upon all Christians. 

The gigantic work of overcoming and destroying sin and 
injustice, of removing temptation, of creating heavenly con- 


ditions here, that men may prepare for heaven hereafter, 
is a compelling force that helps to solidify the ranks of 
Christian workers while, as the true spirit of the gospel 
becomes more fully appreciated, its devotees realize more 
and more the duty and privilege of Christian co-operation 
and fellowship. 

I am glad to bear testimony to the larger, richer, fuller 
fellowship among Christians to-day in our New England. 

Denominational organizations are not in hostile array 
against each other; Christian tolerance is growing into 
Christian fraternity and love. 

Could Elias Smith and Abner Jones, to name only these 
two of the early fathers of our denomination in this sec- 
tion, return to us to-day and witness the spirit of Chris- 
tian unity and fellowship in the very fields where they 
labored, methinks they would rejoice to see their desires 
so fully met among all Christians, and would feel like say- 
ing : "Now let Thy servants depart in peace, for our eyes 
have seen Thy salvation." 

I am glad beyond any words I can use, to welcome you to 
our beloved New England ; yes, to my own native state, 
that you may "behold how good and pleasant it is for 
brethren to dwell together in unity," though belonging to 
different ecclesiastical organizations, yet having the earnest 
of the Spirit and seeking rather to save men and thus ad- 
vance the kingdom of God, than to build up sect or denom- 

Shall we not all pray that this commemoration may be 
potential in strengthening the bonds of Christian fellow- 
ship in the ranks of the religious press, and in all the 
conunonwealth of Christians? 

JUDGE o. w. wiiitelock: 



President of the Christian Publishing Association 

It is with pleasure that, on behalf of the Christian Pub- 
lishing Association, the delegates representing the Christian 
conferences of the United States and Canada, and on be- 
half of the invited representatives of other churches and re- 
ligious publications here assembled, I am privileged to re- 
spond to these words of welcome, coming as they do from 
the pastor of the Christian church of this city, from the 
president of her Ministerial Association, from the IMayor. 
the executive officer of one of the oldest New England towns 
and chief port of the State of New Hampshire, and 
from the president of the New England Convention. We 
appreciate the kind words you have expressed and the 
hand of fraternal greetings extended to us all. 

The Christian church of this city, and whose especial 
guests we are, is one of the oldest of the Christian churches, 
having been organized by Rev. Elias Smith, January 1, 1803, 
over one hundred years ago. He was pastor of this church 
when he published the first religious newspaper, the Herald 
OF Gospel Liberty, on the 1st day of September, 1808. It 
is in honor of this event in the world's history and develop- 
ment that we are congregated in this historic spot to cele- 
brate its centennial anniversary. 

All great events have their inception somewhere and at 
some time, but the Initial step or the inceptive hour is often 
difficult to fix. The silent forces which produce a given 
result, many times cannot he traced with precision from 
their inception. Sometimes an important event or a great 
idea is centuries developing and when it filnally bursts 
upon the world as an active force, the one who brings It 
to the world's attention and who gets the honor for the dis- 
covery or the invention is often not the one that had the 
conception or first saw the vision. The one who brings the 


fruition is the one, however, whom the world delights to 
honor. The idea of a religious newspaper was not original 
with Ellas Smith, as he himself testifies, but he caught the 
vision of its importance and had the courage to put the 
idea into motion and make it a tangible entity and reality 
as a medium to disseminate religious facts and happenings 
and a vehicle to convey the ideas of a dawning religious 
liberty. Elias Smith had ideas that he believed the world 
ought to know. This was the important incentive which 
led to the publication of the Herald of Gospel Liberty, one 
hundred years ago. These Ideas were as a flame of Are 
in the mind and heart of Smith. These ideas were the 
result of hundreds of years of development on the one hand, 
and yet were the outgrowth of hundreds of years of tyran- 
ny on the other. Liberty was the burning, throbbing 
thought in the mind of Smith. Religious liberty was the 
vision he saw, new, yet old. The seed thought was planted 
by the Prince of Peace, the man of Galilee, and was brought 
to fruitage in the time of the apostles and early Chris- 
tians to be shackled by the mailed hand of the tyrant and 
strangled to the death gurgle by the bloody hand of a 
Nero. In the Dark Ages the lamp of liberty had gone out 
and the world writhed and groaned beneath the hand of 
the oppressor. Liberty was throttled and chained, her 
flickering light had gone out in the darkness and gloom 
that overspread the world. But the time came when the 
clanking chains of the oppressor began to loosen, and the 
pine knot and tallow dip of liberty began to dispel the 
darkness of tyranny, as the feudal barons forced king John 
at Runnymede to grant the Magna Charta. 

That immortal document brought the dawn of civil lib- 
erty and gave a glimpse of the true inheritance of man 
which was his first estate. The unwritten law of England 
was the developinent of certain inalienable rights. The 
Puritan Fathers touched New England's shores and made 
Plymouth Rock a sacred spot. They brought to America 
the seeds of political and religious freedom ; these were 
planted in the virgin soil of the New World. 


The candle bad been set upon a candlestick ; its dim 
ligbt lit up New England's rock-bound coast and kindled 
the fire whose flames began to burn up the venom of tyran- 
ny as the hydra head of the monster crossed the ocean 
waves and fastened its tentacles upon the promised land of 
liberty, the Canaan which was to flow with the milk and 
honey that would nourish the world. 

From the candle of Plymouth Rock was lighted the 
torch of liberty that burst forth at Boston, Concord, Lex- 
ington and Bunker Hill, that touched the fuse that fired 
the shot of liberty heard "around the world." Faneuil 
Hall was ablaze ; sparks from burning Charlestown fell like 
star showers upon the Green mountains, the flames crept 
up to theJr summits and cast gleams of light upon the white 
capped peaks of New Hampshire. The fires of liberty had 
begun to burn not only on New England hills and the plains 
of Boston, but in the plantations of Virginia, the pine-clad 
hills of the Carolinas, among the Dutch of New York and 
the Quakers of Pennsylvania. Its cloven tongues of fire 
fell upon Patrick Henry, touched the pen of Jefferson and 
set a diadera in the hilt of the unsheathed sword of Wash- 

The fires of civil liberty burned in city, village and coun- 
try. The fires of patriotism filled true American heart" 
The old Liberty Bell in Independence Hall, pealed forth 
to the world the glad notes of liberty from the oppressor's 
hand. The Declaration of Independence laid anew the 
foundation of civil liberty and blazed the way for a broad- 
er and deeper religious freedom. 

In an humble home in Connecticut, June 17, 17G9, was 
born Elias Smith. He breathed the atmosphere of free- 
dom and was rocked in the cradle of religious fervor. The 
stirring times of the Revolution must have fired his young 
heart, for on the 6th anniversary of his birth the battle of 
Bunker Hill was fought. Is it any wonder that his soul 
was moved and his deep religious zeal aroused as he thought 
of the world and even his own native land being bound by 
a theology of creeds, man-made, and i)ased upon men's 
versions of the Bible? the creed or discipline, varying ac- 


cording to the Adew-point of their authors. A devout Baptist, 
Smith in 1792 was ordained an evangelist in the Baptist 
church, but his religious zeal would not be hedged in by 
the prescribed rules of that organization. He demanded 
greater freedom of religious thought and speech. He wrote 
articles setting forth his views ; he was persecuted, and 
like most reformers was characterized as a crank and was 
ostracized and persecuted by the sectarian churches. 

To have a means of defending his principles and to prop- 
agate his ideas of religious liberty, he published the Heeaxd 
OF Gospel Liberty, the first religious newspaper in the 

The conception of the idea of a religious newspaper was 
not his own, but was suggested by Hon. Isaac AVilbur, a 
congressman from Rhode Island. The congressman sug- 
gested thai; Smith publish the paper while friends would 
provide the means. But Smith wanted a free lance, If 
anything. He feared if friends provided the means that 
they would want to control the utterances of the paper. He 
decided to publish the paper at his own expense. This de- 
cision was characteristic of the liberty-loving views of the 
man. In the first issue Smith laid the foundation stone 
upon which he proposed to erect the structure of religious 
journalism. He said : 

The design of this paper is to show the liberty which belongs 
to men, as it respects their duty to God and to each other. 

A splendid corner-stone — a noble purpose revealed — a 
declaration of principles almost as far-reaching and impor- 
tant as those enunciated in the Magna Charta or the new 
American Charter, the Declaration of Independence. He was 
beginning a great work. He had seen a vision ; the seeds 
of liberty propagated for hundreds of years had at last 
brought forth that which would in time become a tree, 
destined in the progress of time to produce the golden 
apples of the millennium. But not yet, no, not yet ! 

While the tree, one hundred years ago, began to blossom 
and bring forth fruit in its season, yet all the fruit has not 
been sweet and luscious ; much of it has been bitter. 
Smith himself, ate of its bitter fruit, for he was persecuted 


almost beyond measure, but the tree had been planted by 
living waters. 

The Herald of Gospel Liberty has continued from the 
day of its birth to scatter seeds of truth that have taken 
root in minds and hearts until the ^Yorld has been brought 
nearer and nearer to the ideal of its founder. The liberty 
which belongs to men in their relation to their God and 
to each other has not been attained. Men have fallen far 
short indeed. But the progress in a century has been great. 
The fellowship of Christian character which has been told 
and re-told and which was echoed and re-echoed, through 
the columns of the Herald of Gospel Liberty, has, in a 
large measure, come to be the sentiment of the Christian 
world. The partition walls between the churches are 
crumbling down, sectarianism is fast passing away. Creeds 
are being re-written or allowed to pass into innocuous des- 
uetude. The religious world is embracing a broader fel- 
lowship, men are being recognized more and more for what 
they are, rather than for what they believe or say they 

There is to-day a liberty of religious thought and senti- 
ment not dreamed of one hundred years ago, and of that 
order which makes the world better. Religious newspapers 
have had a large part in the development of this religious 
liberty. While the Herald of Gospel Liberty was the 
first religious journal to be published, other publications 
were soon to be established and are represented in this cel- 
ebration to-day. Each has contributed its share in bring- 
ing the world nearer the feet of the ^Master, who taught 
the Golden Rule. )>ut which a sdlisli world is s-lnw to ndipt 
as its rule of life. 

The Herald of Gospel Liberty was founded as the per- 
sonal organ or mouthpiece of Ellas Smith, but it soon 
came to be recognized as the exponent of the doctrines of 
the Christian Church, then in its infancy. It soon came to be 
a recognized organ of that church and, in later years, came 
to be the official organ of the church. To-day every church 
has its religious newspaper and organ to present its pe- 
culiar doctrines or beliefs to the world. It is now a mighty 


force in the Christian world. But this class of papers is 
not confined wholly to expounding the doctrines of certain 
ecclesiastical bodies. Some are given to general church 
and religious news, as the Christian Herald, others to some 
great branch of Christian activity, as the Sunday-School 
Times, which is published to benefit the Sunday-schools of 
all churches, and the Christian Endeavor World, which is 
the official organ of the Christian Endeavor societies of all 
churches. The Christian liberty advocated by Smith and 
taught by the Christian Church for over one hundred years 
is to-day the fundamental principle of the Christian En- 
deavor movement. 

The vision that Smith saw has, in a measure, come to 
be a reality in the Twentieth Century. The cords of love 
nnd Christian liberty are binding together, as with a chain 
of gold, all nations, kindreds and tongues, until the whole 
earth has begun to realize something of that liberty which 
makes men free, yet binds them to God and to each other. 

While the founding of a religious newspaper did not 
seem a great movement to the neighbors and associates of 
Ellas Smith ; nor is it probable that he could look down 
the corridors of time with prophetic eye and see that the 
tree he had planted had grown until its branches had ex- 
tended into almost every corner of the earth, and its fruit 
was being gathered in every clime, by every church, by 
every Sunday-school, by every mission society, by every 
Christian Endeavor society, by every church congress, by 
every church federation ; yet one hundred years has shown 
the fulfillment of such a prophecy. At the time of the 
planting of the seed which produced the tree, it seemed to 
be less than all the seeds the church of Jesus Christ had 
planted, but when it was grown up it shot forth great 
branches, so that, indeed, the fowls of heaven have lodged 
under the shadows of its branches. 

Its leaves have been indeed for the healing of the na- 
tions: it has brought peace on earth and good-will to men. 

This city is indeed an historic spot. The message sent 
out from its portals one hundred years ago, like the dove 
sent out by Noah, returned after many days, carrying the 


olive branch of peace. When the paw of the Russian bear 
was torn and bleeding ; when the great Goliath had been 
smitten in the forehead by a pebble from the sling of 
David ; then it was that our own President stretched forth 
his hands and the dove of peace nested here. This was 
one of the greatest triumphs of the ages and the name of 
Roosevelt will go down in history as a man of peace, 
though trained in war. Like Grant, the great American 
Captain, he said. "Let us have peace." This is sacred 
ground, we are glad to be welcomed here and will remove 
the sandals from our feet and tarry with you. 

Where Wednesday Forenoon Session was held. 




My main apology for my part in this meeting is tliat I 
have found it quite impossible to bring the multiplied big- 
ness of the subject assigned me within so brief a space of 
time. Religious Freedom and the Religious Press are 
vital factors in the religious history of the past century or 
two, as well as the foundation stones of this celebration and 
of the movement that malves it possible. And I shall at- 
tempt no more than to mention two or three of its phases 
which" to me seem most important. 

To the true American citizen few words are sweeter than 
freedom. It expresses the essential idea of his life. To 
define it, one must recount the nation's life-story, from 
the landing of the forefathers on these rugged New Eng- 
land shores, to the present struggle for justice in our 
civil, industrial, and social life. So firmly is the idea 
woven into the fabric of our life that it becomes at once 
the reed by which we test the Americanism of conflicts, 
principles, and men. The whole superstructure of our na- 
tional idea is founded on liberty, and every important event 
in its development, at the heart, has been a plea for the 
freedom of the individual in body, mind, and soul. 

Nor is freedom in religion in any sense a secondary con- 
sideration. It is first and fundamental to all that is 
worth while. To eliminate it would be to contradict our 
traditions and history, and to do violence to the dominating 
spirit of certain old world events most closely allied with 
the spiritual life and progress of the world. 

The New Testament, and particularly the Gospels, is de- 
voted to the cause of freedom in religion. The Gospel of 

* Delivered on Wednesday forenoon, September 10th, in tlio 
M. E. church. Mr. Peters is pastor of the Christian chiircli at 
Coshocton, Ohio. 



Christ gives stinging rebuke to the attempt to force tlie 
yoke in matters of faith and practice. The basis of dis- 
cipleship in the days of Jesus' active life, was more a 
question of attitude than of creed. The simple invitation, 
— "follow me," seems to have been sufficient ; and this did 
not require the formal swallowing of all sorts of theological 
monstrosities, but simply to enter with the whole of the 
life and strength, into sympathetic fellowship with Him and 
His work. The most men needed to know of God was 
suggested in the familiar term, Father ; and the whole 
reach of human obligation and responsibility to God and 
to humanity, is met in loving God with all the heart, and 
-our neighbor as ourselves. The lives of the first disciples 
must be stirred with the spirit and life of the great Teach- 
er, and their activities so Christlike, both in spirit and in 
actual accomplishment, that men beholding, should know 
they "had been with Jesus and learned of Him." lUit one 
scans the New Testament in vain for the slightest hint 
that Jesus gave encouragement to any sort of theological 
bondage, and is forced to conclude that in their individual 
faith. He meant His disciples to be fresh and free as a 
summer morn. The necessity He lays upon His followers 
is consecration rather than conformity, and the ultimate 
test is the service they render in behalf of the redemption 
of the world. At the last Great Day, I think the vital 
question will be, not what ice thought about the various 
theological opinions, but 7ww tee ivrought in the actual 
warfare of life. And I doubt not that hoic we loved will 
be much more important than what toe believed. In any 
case, the individual conscience must be inviolate, since 
every one must render to God the account for his own life, 
and himself reap what he has sown. 

A noted preacher of sometime past put it thus : 

From the manner in which Christ and His apostles introduced 
and established the Gospel, we learn that they considered religion 
a subject on which all men ought to think for themselves ; to 
employ their own minds, to inquire, to deliberate, to tix a serious 
impartial attention. It was tlie wish and intention of the great 
founder of our religion that Ilis religion should he received on very 
different grounds from false religions, should have no support but 
what it derived from its own excellence. Christianity everywhere 
considers it a settled, conceded point, that men on the subject of 


religion are to exercise their own judgment and follow their own 

Besides, we do not forget the books of the Bible are 
personal, and their visions and revelations are not to the 
state, nor to associations of men. They are to the individ- 
ual life, — the seat of all permanent progress in righteous- 
ness, and from the human standpoint, the bulwark of the 
kingdom of God. The richest and finest sentiments of the 
Old Testament are statements of individual experiences, of 
blessings accruing to the single life, and of its boundless 
prospect for growth and glory. While many of Christ's 
most blessed words were addressed to certain misguided ones 
groping their way in sin, whose blinded eyes could not per- 
ceive the friendly light streaming out of the skies, and 
whose ears were deaf to the angelic voices announcing the 
presence of the kingdom of heaven and the world-wide 
hope of eternal life. 

But apart from the teaching of the New Testament, free- 
dom in religion has an important relation to character and 
to the growth of the spiritual life. This in my judgment is 
most vital indeed, a bed-rock foundation on which we may 
safely rest the whole of our plea. Personal conviction is 
fundamental to all excellency. In the past it has made 
many lives worthy our great admiration, and given them 
prominent part in determining the course of world events. 
Tlie striking thing in the lives of very many of the 
world's great ones, has been individual independence and 
conviction. And so far as I know, none who have placed 
small value on their right to think for themselves, have 
had lasting influence in human affairs. The message of 
Jesus was independent of His time, and such as burned in 
His own soul. And behind the fruitfulness of the wonder- 
ful lives of Paul and others, were their conscientious con- 
viction, uutrammeled by authority of church, or the opin- 
ions of men. And since the world began, the highest per- 
sonal character has been attained by those who looked to 
personal freedom as a guiding star, and to whom individual 
rights in matters of faith and practice, were more than 


The claim sometimes made, that the exercise of the right 
to thiuk causes division, does not hold true. Certainly 
divisions have come in this country of boasted religious 
liberty. But they are not due entirely to free investiga- 
tion on the part of the people. In many cases they arise 
from the want of it. Ambitious men have taken advantage 
of the readiness with which the people receive whatever is 
heralded as truth, to proclaim their peculiar theories and 
to organize their sects, increasing confusion and retarding 
the cause they design to serve. I think Channing was 
right when he said : 

We must not imagine that the way to stifle sects is to encour- 
age men to receive religious opinions without thought or inquiry. 
In a land of universal toleration, this is the most direct way of 
laying them open to imposition and enthusiasm. The only way 
to produce uniformity is to encourage serious and honest inquiry. 

In the light of these considerations, very much of the 
actual doings of the religious world in its attitude toward 
freedom in religion, has been passing strange and much 
of it. directly counter to the spirit of the sacred books 
from which it professed to derive its authority, and to the 
common rights of man. We cannot forget, though the 
recollection causes us to shudder, that many of the fields 
through which the organized church has passed in its 
march up the centuries, are strewn with the bleaching bones 
of stifled convictions and murdered liberties ; and that 
religious tyranny, self-appointed, bigoted and unshamed, 
arrayed in garments of pretended piety, and bearing aloft 
the sign of the cross, has dipped its feet in the blood of 
assassinated religious freedom and made its accursed and 
indelible track across the face of the world. 

But after all, have we not made great advancement to- 
ward better things, and are we not rejoicing that the old 
time narrowness is passing away? Yes, we are rejoicing in 
this, and for every actual victory for our rights we should 
rejoice and be glad evermore. But what of the night? 
Is religious tyranny so completely routed from the field 
tliat it is no longer necessary to guard against its en- 
croachments? Have we to-day, we of this great free coun- 
try, and we of the Christians, of the broadest platform 
ever announced by a body of Christian believers, — have 


we the unchallenged right to private judgment in inter- 
preting the Scriptures, and to follow conscience in ques- 
tions of faith and practice? Hardly so, so long at least as 
there are whisperings that the attitude of a foremost 
American citizen toward a question of disputed theology 
should disqualify him for the highest office within the gift 
of the people. It seems to me the following, written some 
years ago by one of the lieenest of men, is a fair state- 
ment of the present situation : 

We certainly have reason to thank God for the enjoyment of 
greater religious liberty than was ever possessed before. The fire 
of persecution is quenched ; the Scriptures are in every man's hand. 
But still, to read the Scriptures with independent minds requires 
no little effort. There are still obstructions to the privilege of 
judging for ourselves. The spirit of popery did not expire among 
our ancestors with its forms. Human nature and its ruling 
passions are always the same. The same love of power, the same 
desire to lead, the same wish to dictate to the consciences of 
others, which burned in the breasts of the Romish clergy, and 
built up the Roman hierarchy, still subsist and operate among us. 
There is still and always will be, until man is more exalted by 
Christianity, a conspiracy against the religious and civil rights of 
men. In Protestant countries there are those who are impatient 
of contradiction, who wish to impose their views on others, who 
surround their creeds with similar terrors to those made use of 
by the Papal church, and doom to destruction all who have the 
temerity to differ from their opinions. 

In a recent book, entitled "The Democracy of Religion," 
the author, one of our own men of large experience, says : 

Everybody believes that the Bible contains a revelation made to 
the individual, and not to any one man or set of men. Nobody 
believes that any one man, or set of men has been divinely com- 
missioned to interpret the Bible for other people. Yet strange 
to say, if the Individual to whom the revelation was made as- 
sumes the prerogative of reading and interpreting that revelation, 
he may learn by sad experience that he has entered upon a dan- 
gerous experiment. Nor will a beautiful life atone for his honest 
thinking, if perchance his opinions of interpretations run counter 
to the opinions of those who ages ago assumed to fix metes and 
bounds to theological thinking. 

But I thinli the better day is at hand. Surely within the 
last fifty years we have taken rapid strides toward the 
things that deserve to be. The persecutions of past cen- 
turies are no longer possible, and the leaven of our com- 
mon rights bids fair to change the whole lump. The pres- 
ent is as much brighter than the time which some here 
can remember, as is the glorious morning brighter than the 
dark evening shadows. There is a better understanding 
and kindlier feeling among the various divisions of the 


Church of Christ, and the tendency everywhere is to 
recognize every one's right to interpret the Bible for him- 
self, and to believe and worship according to the dictates 
of his conscience. And I think it will never again be pos- 
sible for associated Christians to close the door of their 
fellowship to any who believe in Jesus and are willing to 
help spread the principles of His kingdom. 

In the advocacy of these better things, several agencies 
have been active and influential. 

The educational institutions of this country and of other 
countries have borne a most noble part in the struggle for 
religious freedom. They are still in the forefront, and 
to them, all who appreciate the right and privilege to 
think and to act, are under great and uncensing obligation. 
They have helped to send persecution out of Christian 
civilization, and to effectually bar its gates against its 
return ; and all the time they are determining factors in 
the world's life and progress by contributing to its work- 
ing forces every year, scores of men and women whom no 
ignorance can discourage and no tyranny make afraid. 
And whenever I pass a seat of learning, whether uni- 
versity or country school, I feel like dofiing my hat in 
recognition of its services to the cause of common freedom, 
to me, divine and sacred as life. 

Then the world has received much and hns much to ex- 
pect from the spread of the republican idea in government. 
Lincoln's comment on the slavery issue that "no govern- 
ment can long endure half slave and hsilf free" fits the 
case exactly. Men who have civil liberty will not long 
wear the religious yoke. And if I mistake not, the insistent 
demand upon the part of the people in this country and in 
various other countries for their rights in the affairs of 
government, is a prophecy that the hour draws near when 
these same people will demand their God-given inalienable 
right to the imfettered exercise of freedom in religion. 

The pulpit also has had a share in bringing the changes 
that have come. This share is important and beyond our 
power to estimate. But some of us feel that it has not 
been so great as it ought to have been. Candid survey of 
the past hundred years gives the impression that the clei'gy 


as a class, has not had the keenest appreciation of the abso- 
lute value of the exercise of personal freedom In religion in 
its relation to the culture of the best in human life. Doubt- 
less very many have felt that the necessity to preach Jesus 
Christ as a personal Savior overshadowed everything else, 
and with deep concern for other things, lost sight of the 
cause of common rights. But this has not been true of 
all ; for many of our country's greatest preachers, while 
pressing the claims of God on the individual life, failed 
not to raise their eloquent voices in opposition to religious 
bondage of every sort. 

Such pleas for truth by these brave men of God, con- 
tinued in the face of opposition and threatened physical 
violence, could not fail of their effect. Naturally those who 
heard them gladly, organized that they might render 
effective assistance in its dissemination. And to a few 
such men with hearts aflame for the truth, and with 
voices which no theological decrees could hush, we are 
indebted for our life as a distinctive people, and the 
proud distinction of having contended for these same blessed 
principles for more than a hundred years. 

But of all the advocates of religious freedom, I think the 
religious press should have first place. Its position as an 
educational agency makes it possible fur it to be the most 
powerful advocate. The attitude of the public toward the 
[iress of the land is friendly and very much of what passes 
for public opinion, in its temper and spirit, is but the re- 
flection of the temper and spirit of the public press. So 
true is this, that it is charged that the press, when it sets 
itself the task, is able to determine the course of events, to 
annul the force of the elective franchise in this free coun- 
try, and to exert an influence in affairs second to no other 
agency. The readiness with which people accept what they 
read without serious question whether it be true, gives the 
l)ress a leverage both peculiar and powerful. 

Because of this it is of the most vital moment that the 
position of the press of the country on all matters involving 
the rights of the people, and pertaining to their life and 
progress, shall be exactly right. This is particularly true 


of the religious press. In its field, it is even more power- 
ful ; and with the added weight which the religious senti- 
ment gives it in the average mind, what service in hehalf 
of truth and righteousness is too great for it to render? 

True, the usefulness of the religious press in favor of 
religious freedom has not, at all times, been equal to its 
opportunities ; and no doubt a wide range of causes are 
involved in its failures. 

Almost every religious publication has a constituency to 
represent. Ultimately of course, to serve the Kingdom of 
Righteousness, but as a means to that end, to defend and 
promulgate peculiarities of doctrine and of method pertain- 
ing to the people to whom it belongs. And so it is no won- 
der if in the strife of creeds and methods of work, the at- 
tention of the religious press as a whole, has been directed 
to things other than religious freedom. 

Besides, those responsible for the utterances of religious 
journals, (I refer to the editors) feeling the weight of pos- 
sible influence and responsibility, have been cautious and 
conservative, preferring to err on the side of the old doc- 
trines and ideas, than to so much as suggest that the 
truth may not lie there, lest the discovery cause some to 
fall. The result of this has been to cause some religious 
journals theoretically free, in their practical working, to be- 
come extremely unfree, and in the arena of actual con- 
flict, unable to cast a shadow greater than the length and 
breadth of one man's mind. Am I right in concluding it 
were far better to follow the example of Jesus and to spealc 
the truth to the common people at whatever cost, trusting 
that God, whose own It is, will temper it as lie tempers 
the wind, and by it make it make us free? 

If I could have my way, every religious publication 
should set itself, unflinchingly, to bring the truth to light, 
even though some of that truth will neither wear the gar- 
ments of past ages, nor ride in the livery of established 
theological opinions. And this I think would best be done 
by opening its pages to every man whose training and char- 
acter give him the right to be heard. And it is my candid 
conviction that in doing so, the religious press of the 
country would pay its highest tribute to religious freedom. 


aud render its greatest service to the truth of Almighty 

Some religious journals were born free. They were 
conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition "that 
in interpreting the Scriptures, all men are free and have 
equal rights." Among these is our own Herald of Gospel 
Liberty, the oldest in the world. And we of the Chris- 
tians, to whom it belongs, have just pride that it is so. 
But of far greater consequence is the fact that it was bom 
to make men free, and to herald the glad tidings of inde- 
pendent thinking and of gospel liberty. And it must be 
our constant concern to keep it true to its divine calling 
in its actual life as well as in its name. Of course, it must 
be faithful in directing attention to the kingdom of God in 
its world-wide aspect, and exhort to earnestness in the 
spiritual life; but it must also be the medium through 
which the best thought of our people shall find free ex- 
pression, that by the candid and friendly interchange of 
ideas, we may come to the truth aud preserve our liberties. 

At the commencement of the second century of its life, 
we ought to dedicate it anew to the great principle of free- 
dom in religious thought and faith ; and our pledge must 
bind us to make it so in fact as well as in theory. Most 
certainly the latter will be the more diflScult task, but our 
task it is, none the less, if we mean to be faithful to the 
principles we profess, and to the truth committed to our 

We have been casting about for some worthy thing to 
xmdertake in this centennial year. It is right that we 
should do so. It will be to our lasting shame if we do not 
attempt some work worthy of our talents and opportunities. 
I know not what the particular thing may be. But what- 
ever else we conclude, let us resolve upon some more sub- 
lime devotion to the principles we have inscribed on our 
banner. If we can enter the new century of our life with 
some finer enthusiasm for the things in which we believe, 
our example will encourage others to join us, until our 
united strength shall force into dark oblivion the things 
that hinder the progress of righteousness. And finally, let 
us resolve that whatever "course others may take" our 


general church paper shall be so imbued with the spirit 
of our distinctive plea, that wherever it goes, it shall be 
the blessed harbinger of Gospel liberty, the steadfast ex- 
ponent of religious freedom, and the constant and faithful 
witness for that Christlike manhood and womanhood which 
is the basis of our Christian fellowship and the hope of 
the world. 

"In the beauty of the lilies, 
Christ was born across the sea, 
With a slory in His person. 
That transfigures you and me ; 
As lie died to malie men holy. 
Let us lire to malve men free. 
While truth is marching on." 

Coshociou, Ohio. 





The commonly accepted standard of value throughout 
most of the world to-day is gold. This centenary reminds 
US that there is a finer metal. Gold talks, but lead talks 
louder, whether in bullets or type-metal. The financiers 
usually decide whether a war shall be begun, but the sol- 
diers decide how it shall be fought, and what the outcome 
shall be. Great wars have been conducted without much 
gold, but never without an abundance of lead. 

And in type-metal the superiority is yet more marked. 
Gold talks, but lead talks more insistently, and is heard 
farther, and listened to more eagerly. Gold is worshiped, 
it's true ; but brains is worshiped yet more by a large ma- 
jority. Lead makes gold, brain creates money ; type-metal 
controls the money markets. 

There is a peculiar emphasis to type-metal. To the 
great crowd if a thing is in print, it's so. There is a man- 
date of authority about a printed statement. Even those 
who are somewhat initiated into the mysteries of book- 
making and paper-making do not wholly escape the influ- 
ence of the peculiar emphasis of lead. 

I write something down, but sometimes with a misgiving 
seizing me. The thing is true ; but is it stated in the best 
way? And though true, is it the particular phase of truth 
that needs emphasis just now? An indefinable misgiving 
possesses me as I write it. due m.-iyho largely to my physical 
or mental mood at the time. But, by and by, it comes back 
to me in proof-sheets, and as I read, I find myself saying, 
softly to myself, "Did I write that? It states the thing 
so clearly ; it clearly is the thing to be said just now, too." 
The type has given such an emphasis that my misgiving 

* Delivered on Wednesday morning, September 16th, in tlie 
M. E. chnrcti. Mr. Gordon represented the Sunday School Times, 
Philadelphia, Pa. 


is overcome. The truth stands out with a dariug boldness, 
a clear-cut positiveness because of its leaden medium of 
expression. Lead has great power of emphasis. 

Papers have some great advantages over books in in- 
fluencing men. Books are largely burial-places for ideas, or 
sometimes simply for words in the absence of ideas. Few 
books live an active life. The vast majority are not read, 
or read partly, or read only once, and then shelved — bur- 
ial-places of their contents. Some books exert a tremendous 
influence ; but they are the few in comparison with the great 
mass printed. 

The paper lacks the element of permanency that belongs 
to a book, but it has the great advantage of frequency. It 
has all the tremendous moral power of repetition ; it comes 
ng;!in and again. There is an imperiousness about a paper 
coming in the mail to your home. It belongs to the group of 
imiterious things for which you drop everything else fur 
the moment. The telegram and telephone are imperious ; 
you excuse yourself at once to answer their call. 

There is the same kingly iniperiousness about the printed 
paper. It comes at regular intervals in the mail, demanding 
to be taken up. It comes knocking insistently at your door, 
saying, "I'm the newest and latest and best thing. Drop 
those other things and listen to me." And it is surprising 
how largely its demand is granted. 

The paper has the advantage of a larger audience than 
books. It has the same audience in the main, for book read- 
ers are paper readers, too. And then it has a far greater 
audience of those who are largely the non-book-reading sort. 
It is a different audience, too. in being less studious, and 
more impressionable. If a thing happens to strike right 
it is quite apt to influence the conduct. The impression 
may not go very deep, and again it may make radical 
changes. The book reader makes changes more slowly as 
a rule. 

Type-metal has been a great factor in this remarkable cen- 
tury of progress. It has been a great unifier. Most wars have 
been due to strong pre.1udice ; and that has been due to 
misunderstanding, and that to ignorance. Lead has been 


the great news exchange of the world. Through it has 
come better acquaintance, more linowledge, clearer under- 
standing, kindlier feelings and a closer knitting up of race 
bonds. It has conducted a great university among the peo- 
ples of the earth in the science of free government, and 
in all that has made life so much better and higher and 
more intelligent than ever before. 

But lead is at its best in giving the best. Type-metal 
is at its highest and holiest service when used to tell men 
of Jesus. And religious .loiu'nalism is concerned with bring- 
ing Jesus to men more practically and intimately and clear- 
ly. Jesus coming into a man's life gives him a new mental 
birth, as well as a new spirit birth. That is to say. He 
does if He is allowed full and free sway. That is a very 
big "if" needing the underscoring of several lines in blue 
pencil. When I try to read some books and some papers, 
I wish earnestly that there might have been a new mental 
birth for the writer. It would make much easier and bet- 
ter reading for me. 

Religious journalism has the privilege of bringing to 
men that which affects all the crying (luestions of life. For 
Jesus changes everything He is allowed to touch with a 
free hand. He not only makes a man a new man, but a 
new husband, and father and home-maker ; a new neighbor, 
and citizen, and customer, and voter. 

If Jesus have sway in the life, a man becomes a more 
intelligent farmer, and mechanic, and tradesman, and finan- 
cier, and statesman. The religious writer has the rare 
privilege of bringing to men a Jesus that affects every 
phase of life in the most radical way. But he himself 
needs the mental regeneration of a Jesus before he can 
use the type-metal at its highest. 

There are some serious limitations in type. It is cold. 
It lacks the personality of the speaker. The warm pres- 
ence, the soiuid of a human voice vibrant with life, the 
face, the eyes — it has to get along without these. That's 
a great limitation. Type of itself is cold. But it can be 
warmed, and that is the writer's great task, to transmit 
warmth to cold lead. 


There are three ways of doing it. Type takes on the 
dominant mood of the man behind it. The man shoving 
tlie steel point can transmit througli it to the type the 
fire of a dominant purpose. It is possible to put your heart 
into lead ; though few do. But to do it the heart fires 
must be kept up. 

You know that head and heart never drive a-team ; they 
always go tandem, and usually with the head in the lead. 
But that's the wrong order ; the heart should be in the lead. 
The brain may be as keen as the edge of a newly honed 
razor, and the walls of the intellectual storehouse bulg- 
ing out with their wealth, and yet the heart hot and tender 
may be dominant over all. That is the first cure for the 
chill of type. 

Then there can be the skillful use of coloring matter, to 
relieve the chill of plain black-and-white. The delicate 
use of color-words, adjectives and adverbs, just enough — 
not too much — it takes nice work — that gives the bit of 
glow to type that it needs. 

But then there is the use of an after-fire. It is possible 
after the paper has gone out, a thousand miles away, to 
send after it a prayer that will make it glow into a new 
fire under the reader's eye. Prayer has more than sub- 
jective power. I don't need to be a Christian to believe 
that. I may be merely a student of occultism, of the phi- 
losophies of India, to believe in the objective power of 
prayer. But being a Christian with a Jesus and a Holy 
Spirit, I know with a new positiveness that by prayer I. 
can send out an after-fire that shall set the printed page, 
a thousand miles away, all aglow and aflame as I pray. 

The formula for making type-metal differs in different 
foundries, and is always interesting. A common formula 
is one hundred i)ounds of lead, forty of antimony, thirty 
of tin and sometimes six or seven of copper. Lead nat- 
urally is soft-hearted, and needs a bit of stiffening by its 
neighboring allies to be able to stand the pressure of act- 
ive life. But I would urge upon religious journalists that 
having made up their type by whatever formula they may 
severally prefer, the metal should be given a bath, a sort 


of chemical bath to affect its quality. I would give it a 
bath of love. 

And by love I don't mean the weak, wabbly, sentimental 
stuff that often uses that great word. Love itself is pure ; 
it hates sin. It never compromises where sin is concerned. 
Love always carries a short-bladed, two-edged sword, with 
both edges whetted up to the finest pitch of sharpness, and 
never hesitates to use it against sin. 

And love is loyal to its Chief. Love is divine ; that is, 
it is of God. 

"Strong Son of God ; immortal love." 

It nuist be loyal to its Chief — .Tesus, Son of God, God the 
Son: Son of man, God a man! as human as though only 
human ; as really God as though not a man. That is Love's 

Yes, I would go yet farther. I would take the editor, 
who sends the current out through steel point to leaden 
types ; I would make his brain as keen as razor's edge, 
his intellect as full as bulging storehouse, and then give 
him a bath, a habitual, continuous dousing and sousing 
in a bath of love. Then type-metal shall be at its best in 
giving the Best out to men. 





I am especially glad to have part iu this Centennial of 
Religions Jonrnalisni, for several reasons. In the first place, 
I have known and read the Herald of Gospel Liberty 
through practically all my life, and have watched with keen 
interest its steady progress. I have known most of its 
editors, and number them among my personal friends. I 
rejoice iu the present success of this oldest of religious 
periodicals, which never has been so strong in every way as 
it is to-day. May we all grow old in the same glorious 
fashion ! 

In the second place, it is a pleasure to me to have a part 
in this celebration because of my long association with this 
body of Christians as a professor in Antioch College, which 
you founded. While there, and during my years iu the 
service of the national Christian Endeavor organization, I 
have come to know very intimately the ministers of the 
American Christian Convention, and to honor them as a 
noble band of devout, earnest, sweet-spirited Christians, ably 
leading a host of the same beautiful character as them- 
selves. In honoring to-day our oldest religious newspaper, 
we do honor also to the ministers and churches that have 
sui)ported it all through this century, and are putting into 
it to-day their ever-new enthusiasm for what is highest and 

I trust you will pardon these personal words. 

I am to speak to you for a few minutes on "Religious 
Journalism for the Young." We are here to-day to express 
our regard for what is old — one hundred years old. And 
yet it is eminently appropriate that we should devote some 
time to thinking of our young people. It is the spirit of 

* Delivered on Wednesday niornins. Scptenilier 10th, in the 
M. E. church. Mr. Wells represented Thv Chrintiaii Eiuhiiror 
WiiiUl. Boston, Mass. 


eternal youth which we honor in the Heeald of Gospel Lib- 
erty. It is more sprightly now, more wide-awake, more vir- 
ile, than ever before in all its hundred years of useful life. 
If it were not so, we should have little heart in this cen- 
tennial. The birthdays of decrepit old age are melancholy. 
The birthdays of children and youth are full of inspiration 
and cheer. 

But the Herald of Gospel Liberty is renewing its youth 
in large part because the young are now trained, as never 
before, to value the church and all its institutions, including 
its printed journals. A church of the mature or the aged lacks 
everything but experience. It is the church into which the 
young pour their ever-fresh reinforcements of courage and 
hope and enthusiasm that reaches its centennial anniversa- 
ries with vigor and renown. 

I am no pessimist. The churches are doing far more than 
ever before toward the training of their youth, in whom 
lies their hope for the winning of the world to Christ. With 
every glad year of this Twentieth Century the churches will. 
I am sure, do more for the religious education of the young. 
I could not remain in the Christian Endeavor work and not 
be an optimist in this regard. 

But, nevertheless, I want to raise here the question 
whether the churches have yet even begun to realize the value 
of religious periodicals for the young, still less have begun 
to utilize those periodicals as they should. 

I think that, on consideration, that question must be 
answered in the negative. 

So far as the reading of our young people goes, the secu- 
larities have their way in most households. Almost without 
exception, the distinctive young people's periodicals, those 
of widest circulation, largest means, and greatest influence, 
are not religious periodicals. Of course, they are not irrellg- 
ioiis. Many of them are edited by religious men. They are all 
pure and moral in their tone, if we except the detective story 
papers and their like. These are sold by the million copies ev- 
ery week and their influence is distinctly Satanic ; but Chris- 
tian parents are on the watch against them, and I am talk- 


ing about the periodicals for wtiich Christian parents sub- 
scribe. Those periodicals are moral, but not religious. 

That is, while they paint pictures of national heroes and 
try to develop patriotism, they do not point to the God of 
nations, or show how in the teachings of Christ lies the 
hope of national welfare. They may have articles on Ten- 
nyson, but not on Paul ; on Shakespeare, but not on the 
Bible. They discuss the latest discoveries of science, but 
not in such a way as to exalt the God of nature. They 
teach industry, but not prayerfulness. They inculcate hon- 
esty, but not repentance of sin. The goal they hold up be- 
fore the young man is getting on in the world, and not 
getting on toward heaven. The heroes they picture are 
Washington, and Lincoln, and Cromwell, and Gladstone, but 
they leave out the greatest hero of all, our Lord Jesus 
Christ. In short, these periodicals give our young folks the 
case, and face, and hands, and cogs of conduct, but entirely 
omit the mainspring. 

Now the periodical read by a boy or girl has a vast in- 
fluence upon his or her destiny. I well remember how my 
entire boyhood and young manhood were directed by Our 
Young Folks, and The Little Corporal, and The Schoolday 
Magazine, and St. Nicholas. Noble and inspiring magazines, 
every one of them, and I owe them a great debt of grati- 
tude; but I grew up wholly ignorant of the claims of Christ 
upon my heart and life, wholly ignorant of the triumphs 
of the church on the mission field and its tremendous work 
in the modern world. My introduction to all that came 
through my joining the Christian Endeavor society and 
reading its paper, then The Golden Rule. If it had not been 
for that influence, my life would have been secularized 
instead of spiritualized. 

The century covered by the Herald of Gospel Liberty 
has seen vast progress in reading matter for the young. 
The \(>itth'f< Companion, established in 1820 by Nathaniel 
Willis, was a pioneer in this great field, and worthily holds 
the ground to-day with undiminished energy and influence. 
But the chief growth has come within the last twenty-five 
years. I have been looking over some files of the Sunday- 


school papers that I received in my boyhood days, and I 
am amazed to note the cheap paper on which they are 
printed, the worn-out woodcuts made to do second service 
therein, and the uninteresting and mechanical character of 
the contents. I well remember the advent of a better type 
of Sunday-school paper, Instinct with life, the stories deal- 
ing in a natural way with natural boys and girls, and the 
pages filled with bright accounts of real men and events 
and things. Those papers were eagerly read in my school, 
absentees were careful to call for the numbers they had 
missed, and a genuine influence over lives began to be ex- 

From that day to the present, the Sunday-school papers 
for children have experienced an evolution that is both 
delightful and remarkable. The best writers obtainable now 
contribute to their pages. Admirable artists draw their 
pictures. Good paper and good printing make them a joy 
to the eye and the hand. The editors are among our coun- 
try's most cultured and wide-awake men and women. The 
Sunday-school library has undergone a metamorphosis even 
more surprising, but that is outside the theme of this ad- 
dress. To say that a book or paper is "Sunday-schooly" is 
no longer a term of just reproach. 

While this advance has taken place, the departments of 
our religious papers for adults that had been set apart for 
the children have suffered a decline ; or, at the best, they have 
stood still. In some of our leading religious papers, such as 
The Outlook and The Independent, they have been aban- 
doned altogether. Those that retain these departments 
place them in the back of the paper next to the advertise- 
ments, and make them up largely with a pair of shears and 
a nuicilage bottle. You could name on the fingers of one 
band the religious papers that put any amount of original 
skill and thoughtful planning into the editing of their de- 
partments for children. 

I am inclined to think that this is wise and inevitable. 
It is simply a recognition of the fact that the elders do not 
want their papers taken up with juvenile matter, and of 
the further fact that the children are coming to be well 


supplied with separate periodicals of their own. It is mere- 
ly one more indication of the specializing tendency of the 

But while the Sunday-school has been improving the 
character of its periodicals, other religious organizations 
have not been idle. The temperance societies now issue 
admirable papers, calculated to interest young folks in that 
great movement. Societies for the prevention of cruelty 
to animals, rightly seeing the need of instructing boys and 
girls, if they woiild make any progress in their reform, are 
sending forth brightly written and excellently published 
periodicals. Many of the missionary boards now appeal to 
the young folks with very attractive monthlies, well calcu- 
lated to win their hearts for the greatest work of the 
church. Above all, as is proper, the young people's religious 
societies, both the interdenominational Christian Endeavor 
Society and the various denominational societies like the 
Epworth League, the Baptist Young People's Union, and 
the Luther League, not to forget the King's Daughters and 
the Young Men's Christian Association and the Boys' Brig- 
ade, are issuing weeklies and monthlies for young folks 
that are rapidly approaching, if they do not already equal, 
the best that the religious press can furnish for their elders. 
These are bewildering in their number and variety. There 
are, for example, about two dozen Christian Endeavor pa- 
pers published in the United states alone. Surely, so far 
as quantity is concerned, the amount of capital invested and 
the number of bright brains at work, the young people of 
this generation need not complain of their religious period- 

But has the ideal yet been reached? No, indeed! Neither, 
for that matter, has it been reached by the editors and pub- 
lishers of religious periodicals for adults. Perhaps the one 
set of papers is as near the ideal, on I lie wluilc. as the 
other. Let me take a few minutes to set forth what that 
ideal is, as it lies in my own mind. 

In the first place, negatively, the ideal religious period- 
ical for young people must be absolutely pure. Its stories 
must be free from suggestion of any evil, its editorials must 


l)e sound in theology and crystal-clear in morals, its writers 
must be men and women of high character, its lan- 
guage must be chaste and refined, in every way it must be 
without reproach. The paper is to become a very real and 
intimate friend of every young reader. It must be a friend 
that never betrays into iniquity or even a fault. 

This negative virtue is as far as many go in estimating 
a religious periodical for the youth. "Is it good?" they ask, 
forgetting to inquire whether, being good, it is also good 
for anything. It is possible for a paper to be as pure as 
snow, and at the same time it may be as cold as snow. It 
is not the ideal, by any means, until the editor has poured 
into it the warm, red blood of abounding life. 

And so I must go on to speak in a positive and not merely 
a negative way of what the ideal religious periodical for 
young people should contain. I can put it in a single word: 
Christ ! If the periodical shows its readers Christ, the 
living Christ, now at work in and for the world, and if it 
shows Him in His fullness, I shall be satisfied with it. That 
is my own aim as editor of such a periodical. It is the aim 
of every editor of a religious paper worthy of his exalted 

But what do I mean by an exhibition of the living Christ 
in His fullness? Very much such an exhibition as Paul 
meant when he said that it was his purpose to be all things 
to all men. It is required of these periodicals of which I 
am speaking that they be all things — all Christian things — 
to all young people. 

For one thing, they must show Christ in nature. We are 
living in an age when Christ in nature, the Creator Christ, 
is coming to be understood as never before. He is disclos- 
ing some of His most marvelous secrets, and young people 
are quick to respond to the marvel of them when they are 
presented. The ideal religious periodical for the young of 
to-day will have much to say of the telephone and the tele- 
graph and their wonderful development ; of electric cars, and 
electric lights and electric heaters ; of the phonograph, and 
the telephotograph and the microscope ; of the telescope and 
the spectroscope ; of wireless telegraphy, and automobiles and 


f ying niacliines ; of chemistry, and surgery, and biology and 
astronomy. Every word in that list is eloquent of Christ 
and His Infinitely wise plans for His creatures. To relate 
tbe wonders of science, as the secular periodicals do, and 
leave Christ out of them, is to tell our children about the 
locomotive. Init remain silent concerning the steam. Thus 
also they are taught in most of their schools, and there is 
the greatest need that they should have one periodical that, 
while picturing these disclosures in all their amazing 
strangeness, should clearly point the reader to their loving 
and majestic Source. This is no slight service that the 
young people's religious periodical will perform if it is true 
to its high calling in Christ Jesus. 

And then, besides showing Christ in nature, the ideal 
religious periodical for young folks will show Christ in his- 
tory, in the history of the past, but more especially in the 
events of the present world. Very early, nowadays, the 
young people are initiated into newspaper-reading. The 
Sunday newspaper, with its vicious comic supplement es- 
pecially for children, is taken in millions of homes, and 
many of them are the homes of church-members. What a 
picture of the world is presented by the average newspaper! 
It is a world of flaunting vice and sneering selfishness. Pol- 
itics is repre^sented as a game of grab. Society is painted 
as a reeking sore. Sport is a vast gamble. The sun rises 
upon murders and thefts and sets upon scandal and shame. 
It is a world of sordidness and vulgarity and abominable 
sin. the world of the average newspaper. 

But the boy and girl are rightly curious about this great, 
fresh world around them. Their public school makes them 
intensely awake to what is going on in the world. Their 
teachers send them to the newspapers for illustrations of 
their geography and history. They are bound to get an 
initiation into life, and as soon as possible; if not the 
right kind of life, then the wrong kind. Is it not plain that 
one of the outstanding needs of childhood and youth is for a 
religious newspaper, a paper that will present current events 
in a Christian manner and from the Christian view-point? 


Therefore, the ideal religious paper for the young must 
be a newspaper. It must have a wide view of the world. 
It must be able to get the just proportion of events. Every 
week, amid all the crimes and sensational disasters and piti- 
less gossip that crowd our dailies, something liai)pens, usual- 
ly many things happen, that are genuine mileposts in the 
progress of mankind. These events, often unnoticed by the 
secular newspaper, are the real news of the day. They are 
full of thrilling interest, to one that is actually awake to 
the things of time and eternity. It is the duty and the 
joy of the religious editor to set them forth before the 
bright eyes of his young readers in their true colors and 
their inspiring possibilities. 

Foremost among these events, of course, are the triumphs 
of the cross upon mission fields, at home and abroad. Mis- 
sionaries and pastors are hardly mentioned in the news- 
papers, unless one of them goes wrong in some sensational 
way or makes some sensational reference to politics. The 
religious editor sees in them, and in the philanthropists 
and charitable workers of the day, the real heroes and 
heroines of current history, and in their accomplishments 
the chief history of the times. Every young people's pe- 
riodical must be a missionary paper, if it is to approach 
the ideal. 

It goes without saying that if the periodical for youth is 
to exhibit Christ in history, it will have much to say about 
our nation. It will be intensely patriotic, but not in the 
narrow and contemptible sense that consists chiefly in 
brag, that exalts our own land at the expense of all other 
countries. Pride is not patriotism. Indeed, when our coun- 
try is wrong, shame is the only possible patriotism. Pa- 
triotism is the home sense, and it is never possible to have 
a home sense till one has wisely traveled abroad. Just as 
the family is happiest that loves other families the most 
and does its best to help them in their sorrows and share 
in their joys, so that nation is happiest whose citizens ad- 
mire other countries also, and are eager to help them in 
their trials and take part in their rejoicings. In this spir- 
it, then, the young people's paper will study its own land. 


make its readers familiar witli her leaders and their aims, 
and the methods of government and conduct of business. 
While the words of the average newspaper tend to manu- 
facture partisans and fanatics and Jingoes, the religious 
newspaper for the young should aim to produce among its 
readers, nay, in every reader, that rare and splendid indi- 
vidual, a cosmopolitan patriot. 

And in the third place, while showing Christ in nature 
and in history, the ideal religious paper for the young 
will show Christ in the work of the world. Its editor must 
not for a moment forget that he is addressing ambitious 
and rightly ambitious readers. We cannot be sure that 
they are interested in the way of salvation, but we may 
be certain that they are eager to know the way to get on 
in the world. There is a widely-read paper for youth that 
rejoices in the attractive name, "Success." Every religious 
paper for the young might well adopt the same name as a 
sub-head. Every religious newspaper must deal largely, if 
it is to meet the needs of its readers, with the proper am- 
bitions of the young, their desire to impress themselves 
upon the world and get from the world what they want to 

But this is already done for the young in many period- 
icals, an increasing number, done with great skill and prac- 
tical wisdom. Yes ; but the religious periodical must do it 
differently! It must show Christ and not Manunon as the 
guiding spirit in all work that is worth while. It must 
make it perfectly clear that, while wealtli is a good thing. 
it is not by any manner of means the best thing. While it 
points out the way to wealth, it must show that there are 
ways to wealth that are at the same time the ways to misery 
and perdition. It must so work upon its readers that 
rather than take a million dollars in certain ways they 
would cut off their hands. It must exhibit certain failures, 
as the world regards them, In such an aspect that they will 
be seen to be the most radiant successes ; and certain suc- 
cesses, as the world regards them, in such a light that 
they will be recognized as the most deplorable failures. 
The ideal young people's religious paper will be as practl- 


cal as any trade paper. It will talk about definite busi- 
nesses, and will give first-hand and businesslike information 
regarding them. It will inspire young people to succeed 
in them. It will show them how to make money, 
how to save it, and how to invest it. But it will not allow 
them, while they are making money, to unmake manhood, 
or, while they are saving it, to forget to spend it wisely 
and generously for the needs of others and in the love of 

Without Christ in our work that work soon loses all just 
proportion in our thoughts ; it becomes a work for time and 
not for eternity ; for oin-selves and not for the world ; for 
loss and not for real prosperity. Most influences, in secular 
schools, in secular periodicals, and in the well-nigh over- 
powering spirit of the age, utterly omit Christ from the 
work of the world, and from the training of the young for 
that work. Is it not plain that the religious periodical for 
young people has here a rich field of service, and a field 
that greatly needs enthusiastic cultivation? 

Further, the religious periodical for young folks must 
l»nt Christ into their play as well as their work. It must 
show them how to play in wise ways. More persons know how 
to work than how to play. With all the miles of columns 
about sport published daily in our newspapers there are 
very few inches that really help the world toward genuine 
recreation. Now the need of recreation runs parallel to 
the need of work, and if young people are to be taught 
one they should be taught the other. It is my belief that 
considerable space in the ideal i-eligious periodical for the 
young should be occupied with descriptions of sensible 
amusements — what they are, how to play them, and when to 
stop playing them. Many of these should be amusements 
for large parties, and not the somewhat selfish games for 
two or four, or those foolish games that are enjoyed by 
proxy, as when ten thousand persons sit on benches to 
watch twenty-two persons play. 

I believe the religious paper should have large space for 
fun, for those comical sayings and happenings that expel 
miasmas with a laugh, and drive away the devil with chuck- 


les. I believe, too, that much attention should be given to 
the social aspect of life, and especially to that matter of 
paramount importance to the young, love-making and mar- 
riage. Bodily purity and all that that implies should be a 
part of this constant propaganda. One widely circulated 
paper for young folks used to rule out all stories of relig- 
ion and of love ; I think it does still. To my mind, wise 
stories of religion and of love, the two combined, are ideally 
appropriate for the young peoples' periodical. 

Well, there is much more that I should like to say on 
this outreaching theme, and certainly I do not want it 
understood that my omission of any point implies that I 
do not consider it important ; but the time is short. Perhaps 
I can put the most of what I want to say in a single addi- 
tional statement, that the ideal religious periodical for 
youth will aim to put Christ in their hearts. Christ in nature 
and in history, Christ in work and In play, but most of all 
Christ in the heart. Personal love for Christ, personal con- 
secration to Christ, personal service of Christ, — to bring 
this about must be the editor's crowning aim. He must 
think of this as he plans every number. He must think 
of this as he selects his writers and passes upon their manu- 
scripts. He must think of this as he writes his editorials. 
He must place this first as he daily brings his paper and 
Ills readers before the throne of God in prayer. He must 
send forth every number as a printed John the Baptist, to 
prepare the way of the Lord. He must consider the paper 
MS his pulpit and himself as a minister of the gospel. And 
ns he does this, and eyery other man engaged in the same 
blessed work does this, his living enthusiasm will be caught 
up by the eager and receptive souls of the young; they will 
come to see Christ as the One Desire of all nations ; they 
will begin to pour into His royal service the full tide of 
their splendid energy and devotion, and before long Christ's 
kingdom will come upon earth. For whatever touches and 
molds youth decides the eternal destiny of mankind. 





There is a groat temptation to enter into the malving of 
defiuitions, to state wliat we mean by morals and religion. 
There are so many different conceptions of both, and so 
many theories as to the source and development thereof, 
that it might not be altogether a waste of time to state 
what we mean by the terms of our subject. 

Many may l:e fdund lliat make morals the cnstinlian of 
religion, who hold that morals as a phenomenon of life 
appeared before the religious sense. 

Often we see them tiTiited as distiiid ami scp-ii-.Uc ihiims: 
but we feel that as a man is a unit in his soul life, and 
that we may not take any one power thereof and hold it 
as apart from the other; so man in his religious and moral 
life must be looked at as a unit, the same source for the 
ethical as for the religious phenomena and impulses. 

Some will not admit of any <i /n-iori arguiiienls : they have 
no place for the proposition that there is a God who 
reigneth : and they look upon religion as a fetish. Not 
*iod. but a "fortuitous concourse of atoms*' has been the 
source of this development which we have seen as recorded 
in the history of civilization. 

Have we not looked on both sides of the (luestion and 
liy the processes of philosophy, and through our experiences 
ai-rived at the same conclusions as Descarte, who fomid 
tliat next to the most obvious thing in the universe — "I 
think, tlierct'or*' I am." is tliat "there is a <4i;(l who is lln' 
secret of my al)ilily to tliiiik." 

We feel that we may not divorce morals from religion. 
Said Washington. 

TiPl \is Willi cniilioii indiil^zi^ tlii' siiiii)()Sit ion tliat iiior.-ilil y c-.-iii In- 
niaiiitaincd williciiil i-cliuioii. Ifcason and rxiicricnce Imlh I'orliiil ns 

* Di'li^'crc 1 "11 Wi'iliicsilay murniiiu. Si'iilcnilKn- Idtii. in Hie 
M. E. clinrcli. Mr. Vomnans is ii.aslor of IIk:' First Cliristian 
I'linrcli, .Vllianw X. V. 


to expect that natural morality can prevail in exclusion of relig- 
ious principles. 

The same eternal cause, God, is producing them both, 
and we may not have a pure religious state without a right 
system of morals, and vice versa. 

To us who believe in God and the eternal value of re- 
ligion, our subject is simple enough. In the form of a 
question it means, — "What influence has religious journalism 
on the conduct of man?" 

Nothing more decidedly emphasized the moral value of 
religious journalism than does the MOTIVE under which 
it is carried on. The secular press appears to be run upon 
an egoistic basis. One question is asked, "Will it pay?" 
By pay is meant, will it prosper financially, and pay large 
dividends to the entrepreneurs? Or may be, "will it serve 
the end of a party or class?" Commercialism, class and 
individual interests seem to be the motives under the 
secular press to-day. 

On the other hand the religious press is a philanthropic 
enterprise. The motive is altruistic. Seldom does it meet 
with financial success. If I am rightly informed the larger 
numbers of religious periodicals have to lie sulisidizcd. Tlie 
question is not what can be gotten out of it, but what can 
be done by putting into it. 

As motive is seen to be the bas'c element in morals, we 
see that the religiuus press stands before the world in a 
white light, and is armed with the invincibleness of sincerity 
and simplicity and charged with the power of the spirit 
of benevolence. 

Next to the motive we might exnmine tlie PURPOSE. 
What is its aim? The aim is the reclamation, the salva- 
tion, the edification of man. 

It does not seek to simply please, to amuse and be 
sold ; but it goes to man as Old Nathan the prophet did 
to David to tell him of his sin and to point the finger of 
conviction at him while he declared "thou art the man." 
It is aimed at the conscience of man seeking to make it 
alive and free and regnant. 


111 the business world man is suiTounded with so many- 
things which smother the conscience ; in the political arena 
so many things that lead him into the attitude of a casuist ; 
in the social realm so much to make him turn from inner 
promptings, which tend to put in abeyance the voice of 
the divine in his soul, that there needs to be something to 
make a special appeal to him from time to time. This is 
what the truly I'eligious journal does. 

The religious press seeks the heart of man. It strives 
to stir the emotions ; not as the play on the stage, or the 
novel in the hand, which are for the passing moment's 
effect only, and to be lost in the next picture of life that 
is seen, thus leaving the heart less impressionable. The relig- 
ious writer has not as the end in view the emotion, the tear ; 
but seeks out of these to get conviction and a decision, 
with resolutions which shall change the life. He writes 
not as an entertainer so much as a reformer and inspirer 
of man. 

Another characteristic of religious journalism is its 
spirit of truth. It seeks to set forth the truth. We do 
not mean by this that it always contains truth in the abso- 
lute, in the last analysis ; but the writing has been done 
in simplicity and sincerity. 

The creed of one paper may not be that of another, 
the writings of one may differ in opinions from those of 
another on the opposite page. Yet we feel that each out 
of the earnest of his spirit has set forth that which appeared 
as eternal truth to him. There is an absence of the politic, 
the subterfuge, the diplomacy, the legerdemain that so dis- 
gusts us in the secular press. 

We are convinced that the writers are men with the 
interest of humanity at heart, and they are not writing 
their articles because it pays in dollars, but because of 
the spirit of eureka within them, and because they feel 
woe is me if I declare not the truth. 

The spirit which is thus revealed by such, calls men 
to sincerity, away from the temptation to put things in 
an illusory light. 


The religious press lioltls up the better side of life. The 
(Inilies r;uisaek the whole earth to find all the rapine, 
innrder, theft and crime, taking the whisperings of every 
scandal monger and with the imagination of a Jules Verne 
or a Rider Haggard paint them in a fairy tale of fietiou 
giving it to the public as fact. 

If two derelicts of humanity fight on the street, there, 
will be a two-column article. All the prize fights and dog 
fights are the things which they seek after the most, and 
serve uji with the greatest satisfaction. 

\Yhen did you see them publish anything when a 
Natlianiel under the fig tree, or a Jacob at Penuel, or any 
man fought and conquered the demons of his soul? Such 
news is spurned by them. 

The religious press comes in here to tell of the soul's 
conquests, to give us the view of life from some spiritual 
height obtained. To reveal to man a way out of his dis- 
couragement, his weakness, his sin. 

In the secular press we have tlie lower side of life 
spread before us each day. To read this alone would make 
man a pessimist as touching hiunanity. and complacent 
with himself, for "surely he is better than these." 

In the religious press we see the other side : we get a 
f;iir»>r view of man. which makes us oiitimistic as touch- 
ing the outcome of the race, and makes us dissatisfied 
with our own i»oor attainment in things spiritual, when we 
see the souls of great men shining out through their writ- 
ings ;ind works. The highest ideals are lield up before man 
with encouragement for him to strive after them, while 
evidences that men have attained are i)laced before him in 

How different the ideas of success as lield out ))y tlie two 
classes of journalism. Croesus and Najioleon are the patron 
saints of the many who write for n)an in tlie i>opular 
periodicals. "Get up and on" is theii- slognn. while ma- 
terialistic means and ends are as far as they see to go. 

Here the religious periodical comes to our homes and 
assures us that it is not success to walk over the prostrated 
bodies of our compatriots and fellowmen to reach our 


desired ends ; that when we must build up our homes and 
fortunes at the expense of the homes and fortunes of others ; 
wiien our achievements are bathed with the blood of vic- 
tims, instead of being baptized with honest perspiration 
from our own brows: be it that in gold we represent a 
Croesus, or in power a Caesar, we have failed; and though 
in the house of Dagon we may have mounted to great 
heights among the world gods, we shall surely be thrown 
down before the presence of Him who requires that we 
"do justly, love mercy and walk humbly l^efore him." 

The ]Man of (ialilee came to the people of Palestine in His 
day teaching that the meek shall inherit the earth, that 
a man's life consisteth not in the material things which 
he possesses, that one should not live by bread alone, that 
faith hope and ' love are the only things abiding: so the 
religious press born of His spirit declai'es the same jirinci- 

The world has that which they call faith or confidence, 
but the religious jiress lifts faith into the realm of the 
spirit, it takes hope through the vistas of the eternal morn. 
It elevates love from the realm of selfishness and sex into 
the impersonal, unifying, glorifying realm of Love Divine. 

What a unifying power is the religious press? It points 
all men to one center. — God the beginning, the end. the all. 
With God as the core of a moral system there will be ad- 
vancement in things ethical. With God left out there will 
lie false and arbitrary centers which work aiiart and can 
lead only to deterioration and depravity. Iteligion is not 
a liandniaidt'n ot a materialistic system of ethics. Re- 
ligion is paternal and declares to all men and systems the 
Ciod that has been experienced. A father has been com- 
l)rehended and as his children have found true life lies 
along his ways, they will seek the counsels of his spirit, 
evvw more than the rules of any ethical system. Religious 
experience will make and remake these systems, even as 
it makes and remakes theology. 

There is much complaint that there is not so much Bible 
study as in the past, that there is not so much reading of 
the text itself, by Christians. I suspect that the religious 


press is partly responsible for the fact that there is not 
so much reading of the book itself. When a person reads 
from one to five religious periodicals a week he has read 
a great deal of Bible in a very good way. The periodicals 
are saturated with the Bible texts, and some of the most 
excellent expositions of texts and paragraphs are 
given by men of rich experience and deep religious insight. 
In this way the average man gets a better understanding 
of the Bible than he would by simply reading it himself. 
He is studying the Bible in detail. 

The influence of religious journalism? It is beneficent, 
stimulating, redeeming. When a periodical is sent forth 
without any self-interest back of it, but sprung from divine 
love in the human heart ; when it bears a message of faith 
service, sacrifice and immortality ; when it ever holds on 
high the crucified, the beatified Christ, it is a light shining 
in the darkness, a force countering the gross and material, 
it is leaven in the loaf of life, which tends to permeate 
the heart of the individual, the home, the community, the 
world. It is "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 
prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."' 

It is no small honor to the Christians that they were 
the first to see the great need and set about supplying it, 
as they did by initiating the new form of journalism which 
has grown to such wonderful proportions. 

A hundred years of service to man through the means 
of the printed page ! When we agree with one who said : 
"The pen is mightier than the sword," are we not amazed 
at the infiuence that has been exerted through the century? 
If we could see the mighty host that our own paper has 
helped, the ones who have been led to the light of a new 
day, the ones encouraged in their darker moments, those 
who by the reading of the timely paragraph have been 
stayed from the great transgression ; if we could estimate 
the amount of edification, character building that has been 
the result of the influence of the Herald or Gospel Liberty, 
we should take up the cause of the paper with a thousand- 
fold incx'ease in zeal. 


I would pay my own respects to the. Heeald. It was 
the first paper I remember seeing in our home. Never 
during all the years that I remained under the parental 
roof did it miss its weekly visit. Ours was not a wealthy 
home, and at times the Hekald was the only paper coming 
therein. The library was small, the books were Biblical and 
theological with the exception of a few histories and one 
novel, "Thaddeus of Warsaw." By force I read the books 
and the one periodical, the Herald. It was in the days 
when Doctor Watson was editor that I began to read it. 
What sweet breaths of the Spirit he blew Into the paper. 
I can now feel the impressions that they made upon my 
boyish heart. I have often thanked God that it was 
as it was. and that I did not read the mass and 
the mess that is obtainable to-day. With the Heeald. 
Geikie's Life of Christ and KinJcade's Biile Doctrine I spent 
many an hour in my boyhood, and to this I, in a large 
measure, attribute the bent of my life. 

To-day there are probably twenty-five periodicals coming 
into our home. The first read is the Herald. It has not 
diminished in its power, its influence, its potency for right- 
eousness, but rather increased. 

Religious journalism was born of necessity, it has en- 
larged the pulpit thousand-fold, it has made the home more 
the house of the Lord, and its mission will not have been 
accomplished until that time shall be which the seer of the 
apocalypse declared, when no temple shall be needed, neither 
shall the preacher exhort, for all shall know the Lord fnTm 
the least unto the greatest. 

t~^ ^^$-- ./:i. 


h.^ .' • 



f ) 













On the SOth of June, 17S0, the Rev. Benjamin Randall, 
a "free salvation" Baptist preacher, organized in the town 
of New Durham, N. H., an independent Baptist church, 
called the "Church of Christ," and that church constituted 
"the germ" of what is now known as the "Free Baptist" 
denomination. Randall did not accept the extreme Calvin- 
istic doctrines commonly held and preached in the Baptist 
denomination at that tiin(^;lH' Ix'licvcd and boldly preached 
the freedom of the human will, a m'Ut'i'al atonement. 
and man's resiwnsibility for his relation to his Creator, 
and also in the right of all true disciples to the privileges 
of the Lord's Table. Other preachers agreed with him in 
these views, and gradually they gathered churches in differ- 
ent places, which, as might be expected, accepted the same 
doctrines. For more than twenty years they called them- 
selves simply "Baptist" churches, but wore not looked upon 
favorably in the denomination, and were spoken of as 
"New Lights," and sometimes as "Free Willers ;" and oth- 
er discourteous names were applied to them. Naturally 
they associated with one another, and soon began to form 
alliances, or associations, and in 1804 were recognized in 
law, by action of the New Hampshire legislature, as the 
"Freewill Antipedo Baptist Church and Society." At that 
time, so far as is known, no religious newspaper had been 
published on either side of the Atlantic. The earliest pub- 
lication of this kind was the Herald of Gospel Liberty, 
pniilishcd at I'ortsniouth. X, II., the first number ajipeai'- 
ing S(']>teml)<'r S. ISiiS. In i| tlie c^ditor ri'inarks : "A 
religious newspaper is almost a new thing under the sun. 

* Delivered on Wednesday afternoon, Septemlier lOlh, in tlie 
Unitarian chnrcli. Mr. Waterman represented llu' Marniiuj Slur, 
organ of tbe Free Baptists, of Boston, Mass. 



I know not but this is the first ever published to the 

Freewill Baptists were, to some extent, interested in this 
earliest religious newspaper. Its founder and first editor, 
the Rev. Elias Smith, sought admission, in 1805, into the 
Freewill Baptist denomination, but finding himself not 
fully in accord with their doctrines, he withdrew his re- 
quest, but continued to associate with them in the most 
unrestrained manner. The sympathy of Freewill Baptists 
was with this paper in its leading designs, and it had 
quite an extensive circulation among them. 

In ISll. the Rev. John Buzzell, of North Farsonsfield, Mo.. 
began to publish a quarterly periodical called 77/e RcJiffious 
Magazine, which appeared in 1811-12, and then disappeared 
until 1820, when it re-appeared and was continued for three 
yeai's. It was filled with historical, biographical and de- 
nominational intelligence, and may, in some sense, be re- 
garded as the forerunner of the Morning Star, as its found-, 
er and editor was one of the founders and the first editor 
of the Star. 

The history of the Morning Star may not improperly be 
regarded as beginning with the appearance of TJie Religious 
Magazine in 1811 ; for that was the earlier expression of 
a purpose that afterwards was permanently realized in 
the appearance of The Morning Star. The man who 
originated and conducted the first was one of the 
founders of the second. Elder John Buzzell was one of 
the three men who, in 1825, first consulted the Farsonsfield 
Quarterly Meeting on the subject of a weekly paper. Buz- 
zell was also one of the original stockholders and the first 
editor-in-chief of the Star. 

In 182G the Freewill Baptists numbered nearly four hun- 
dred churches, over three hundred ministers, and about 
sixteen thousand communicants. These were scattered 
throughout New England (Connecticut excepted), New 
York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Canada. The need 
of a weekly paper had come to be deeply felt. What was 
really needed by a body that had quadrupled its member- 
ship in two decades could not be long delayed. In 1825 


Samuel Burbank and Elias Libby agreed to consult the Par- 

soiiHekl Quarterly Mt'ctiug at its next session as to the ex- 
pediency of publishing a paper. They did so (Elder John 
Buzzell being associated with them), and the Quarterly 
Meeting doubted its success, but agreed to patronize it if 
commenced. Nine men were found ready to assume the 
publication of a paper. They commenced with a capital of 
$800 and issued their prospectus Jan. 2, 1826. The company 
was not legally organized till Feb. 4, when the articles of 
co-partnership (under the name of Hobbs, Woodman <& Co.) 
were signed. Hobbs was chosen chairman, and Burbanli 
clerk. Arrangements were then made for procuring a press, 
type, paper, etc., and, at a subsequent meeting John Buz- 
zell was chosen senior editor, and Samuel Burbank resident 
editor and agent ; William Burr, a young man about twenty 
years of age, then in the Traveller office at Boston, was 
engaged as printer. The type for the first paper was most- 
ly set with his own hand, and May 11, 1826, was issued the 
first number of The Morning Star. It was published at 
Limerick, Me., a small village thirty miles from Portland, 
and about the same distance from Dover, N. H., to which 
place it was removed seven years later. 

The Star was actually opposed by some on the ground 
that it would foster pride, stimulate a false ambition, or be 
a money-making speculation. The second number contains 
a dialogue, substantially representing conversations between 
the editor and those who doubted the propriety of estab- 
lishing a weekly paper, in wiiich the wisdom of the move- 
ment is fully vindicated. To satisfy objectors, at the end 
of the first six months, it was editorially announced that 
the proprietors were ready to transfer the Star to the de- 
nomination whenever it would take the paper and pay the 
bills. Any Quarterly Meeting dissatisfied with the finan- 
cial management was asked to send a committee of investi- 
gation, and the agent would submit all of his books and 
accounts for examination. These offers seemed to have 
silenced the grumblers. 

At the commencement of the second volume only six 
subscribers had discontinued the paper. At the first Gen- 


eral Conference of the denomination, held at Tunbridge, Vt, 
in 1827, the object of the proprietors in establishing The 
Morning Star was fully explained and the paper with all 
the office appliances, was offered to the denomination at 
cost. The offer was declined, but the Star was commended 
to the patronage of the denomination. In the middle of 
the tliird volume, with a subscriptio}! list of 1250, the Star 
was enlarged, and in 1830 William Burr was appointed 
financial agent and held that office till his death, nearly 
thirty-seven years afterwards. 

At the General Conference in 1832 the proprietors of the 
Star again offered it for sale, and the Conference agreed to 
pay $3,700 for all the property. The publishing committee 
consisted of six men. with David Marks as publishing 
agent, William Burr still retaining the office management. 
A new interest was awakened, and the subscription list of 
1,600 increased the next year to 2,700. No change was 
made in the editorial management. 

Two important changes occurred in 1833. After seven 
years of faithful service in the editorial chair. Rev. Samuel 
Buri)ank vacated it. carrying with him the best wishes of 
the thousands who had read the paper. Samuel Beede, of 
Sandwich, N. H.. a very ]iious and scholarly young man, 
who had been in the employ of the Book Concern for a year 
or more, was his successor, and he soon showed himself 
equal to the task. Beede and Burr were kindred spirits, 
and worked harmoniously together. 

The inconveniences of pnblishing the Star and books in 
a retired place like Limerick became more and more ap- 
jiarent as the business increased, and so the publishing 
Committee proposed to the General Conference, in 1833, 
that the publication office l)e removed to a more eligible 
location ; and the Conference recommended its removal to 
Dover, N. H., which was effected a few weeks after. But 
Beede's service was brief. His real worth was beginning 
to be appreciated when he was called to a higher service, 
and died ]\Iarch 28. 1834, after a short illness, and the 
Star was dressed in mourning for the first time. In May 
Mr. Burr was chosen office editor, with the understanding 


that he would use at his discretion the editorials furnished 
by others, and Arthur Caveruo, David Marks, Porter S. 
Burbauk, John J. Butler and Enock Mack were appointed 
assistant editors. 

The bold and uncompromising position of the Star against 
slavery disaffected many subscribers, and the orders for 
its discontinuance came every day. Brethren said that the 
managers were acting a suicidal part, and ought to keep 
silence on that exciting question, and politicians and the 
press generally denounced the anti-slavery policy of the 
Star. The New Hampshire legislature refused to give the 
trustees an act of incorporation, and they were pressed on 
every side, but not discouraged. Those were the dark 
days of the Book Concern. Men of less heroic principle 
would have quailed before the storm ; but the Star shone 
with a steady light for free speech and free men through 
all of those terrible years. The Lord was pleased with the 
service, and crowned it with success. The General Con- 
ference stood by the Star, giving it hearty sympathy and 
words of cheer, and the ministry, with few exceptions, 
worked for it with a hearty good-will. 

In 1844 the Concern was enabled to report itself as 
having an office of its own, with greatly increased facilities 
for carrying on the work, and, best of all, it was free from 
debt. Then commenced large appropriations of $1,500 an- 
nually to benevolent purposes, in addition to some larger 
and all the minor donations. 

In 1846 a political revolution was effected in New Hamp- 
shire, and an act of incorporation obtained. The board of 
corporators, thirteen in number, organized Sept. 30 under 
the legal title of "The Freewill Baptist Printing Establish- 
ment," and all the property held by the trustees was duly 

The next twenty years (1S46-18G6) were years of pros- 
perity and progress. The entire denomination was then 
united in support of the Star; the subscription list ran up 
to more than 12,000, and the profits enabled the Board, 
under the direction of Conference, to make large and re- 
peated donations to worthy objects. 


The Star was again enlarged in 1851. In 1864 the Rev. 
J. M. Brewster entered the office as assistant in the edito- 
rial department, and in 1866 Mr. Burr was suddenly called 
away by death. Then was there great sorrow throughout 
the denomination, for one of the best men and most use- 
ful servants it has ever produced had "entered into rest." 

The Rev. George T. Day was elected editor to succeed 
Mr. Burr, and the Rev. Silas Curtis was made temporary 
agent. He was relieved in the next year by Mr. L. R. Bur- 

In 1867 it was decided to enlarge the Star again, and to 
publish it in quarto form. This made necessary the pur- 
chase of a new press and folder, additional appliances, and 
the other half of the building in which it was published, 
one-half of which it had owned for several years. 

At the Buffalo session of the General Conference, in 1868, 
a somewhat radical change in the affairs of the Printing 
Establishment was effected. The corporators were directed 
"to obtain such an alteration in their act of incorporation, 
and make such changes in their by-laws, as will remove 
the said Printing Establishment from the control of the 
General Conference." The object of this measure was in 
various ways to conserve the interests of the Establishment 
and secure its greater efficiency. The capital of the Estab- 
lishment was to be "placed absolutely vmder the control of 
the corporators . . . not to be subject to the interference 
of General Conference, to be used for the publication of 
such books and periodicals as said corporators may deem 
advisable, and that all profits arising from the business 
shall be appropriated to benevolent purposes connected 
with the denomination, except when such profits may be 
required as capital for the publication of books." 

The question of moving the publishing office to Boston 
had been discussed for some time, and in 1874 it was voted to 
do so. But removal was not j'et to occur. Dr. Day was 
taken sick and soon passed away. His death and other 
circumstances prevented carrying into effect the vote to 
remove. All steps in that direction were retraced except 
rescinding the vote to move, and the Star remained in its 


old home. Mr. Geo. F. Mosher, who bad been in the office 
several years as Mr. Day's assistant, succeeded bim as edi- 
tor. In 1881, Mr. Mosber resigned and went abroad as 
United States Consul to Nice, to which position he had 
been appointed l)y President (iartlcld. The licv. Clarence 
A. Bickford was then chosen editor, and in a letter to the 
Board of Corporators, re-opened the question of removal. 
At the meeting of the Corporators, in Sept., 1883, it was 
voted to proceed with the proposed removal, and that was 
accomplished in 1885. 

With the removal of the Establishment to Boston there 
occurred, through the resignation of Rev. I. D. Stewart, a 
complete change in the business management. lie was 
succeeded by Rev. E. N. Fernald, to whose care, as chair- 
man of the executive committee of the Board, the work of 
building in Boston was largely intrusted. No change oc- 
curred in the editorial management, save the retirement of 
Rev. G. C. Waterman, who for some years had conducted 
the Star Quarterlies and the Sunday-school papers. The 
necessity of retrenchment, owing to increased expenses in 
Boston, called for a reduction in the working force. All 
the publications were now placed in the bands of the 
Rev. C. A. Bickford, as editor-in-chief, assisted by Prof. 
Cyrus Jordan and Miss Sarah A. Perkins. Dr. Bickford 
served as editor till Nov. 1, 1901, when he was succeeded 
by the Hon. George F. Mosher, who is the present editor 
and publisher. 

Previous to its removal to Boston, the Publishing House 
was a source of large pecuniary profit to the denomination. 
More than $80,000 in money, or its equivalent, has been re- 
ceived from the House, in addition to all the stimulating 
social, moral and religious influence it has exerted, without 
giving to it a single donation. No institution has done 
more for Free Baptists or has a greater claim upon their 

The position of the Star in relation to slavery has beeii 
noticed. It was from the beginning a firm and zealous ad- 
vocate of the temperance reform, and is to-day an uncom- 
promising defender of Prohibition. When the denomina- 


tion began to be defiuitely interested in Foreign Missions, 
the Star gave eltieient hv\]) to. and direction in, tlic work. 
It lias assisted greatly in awal^ening and maintaining an 
intelligent interest in educational matters, in Sunday- 
schools, and in tbe Young People's Societies. It maintains 
a reasonably conservative attitude towards tbe modern 
developments in respect to biblical and theological questions 
and is a progressive leader in all evangelistic movements, 
both within tbe denomination and the general Christian 

IIKV. .lOSEl'II S. SN^'AIM, D. D. 




Baptist Journalism may be traced to 1790 when the Bap- 
tist Annual Register was established in England by Dr. 
.John liiiion. successor to Doctor Gill in the church in 
Suuthwnrk. London. This publication included communica- 
tions from Americans also and was a means of communi- 
cation sufficient for their simple purposes at that early 
stage of the American churches. 

In 1803 the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine 
appeared as the organ of foreign missionary intelligence. 
The missionary enterprise knit the Baptists together and 
developed a desire for communication of knowledge of all 
their interests. It might be expected that Baptists would 
take an early interest in journalism, as they were active 
in propagating their faith by preaching and the publica- 
tion of pamphlets, and found also the need of educational 
institutions to prepare ministers. They became a thought- 
ful people, and as such, needed journals of information 
and expression. Pamphlets and periodicals on doctrinal 
and denominational subjects were first issued. But as 
their numbers and activities increased and as they came 
to the period of self-consciousness as a growing denomina- 
tion of Christians, they felt the necessity of a religious 
journal which would serve their common interests. 

Our topic calls for "Journalism" and we must confine 
our story to weekly religious publications, leaving out 
doctrinal and denominational pamphlets and books, as well 
as missionary magazines, and condensing history and out- 
standing facts. 

Taking up the thread at actual and bonatide vv'eekly pub- 
lications of newspapers, we find that the Watchman first 

* Delivered on Wednesday afternoon, September 16th, In tlie 
Unitarian church. Mr. Swaim represented The Watchman, of 
Boston, Mass. 


appears in Boston in 1819, as The Christian Watchman. It 
was publislied by True and "Weston, Weston being a 
printer and becoruing a believer and baptized while in 
charge. He was its first editor and was father of President 
Henry G. Weston, D. D., of Crozer Theological Seminary. 
Deacon James Loring was its editor for ten years or more. 
Rev. Ebenezer Thresher, D. D., (a notable Baptist name) 
was editor next in order and then came Rev. William 
Crowell for ten years, whose ability as a writer was wide- 
ly recognized and under whom the paper took a high 
position. But his conservative position on questions of the 
day, especially slavery, antagonized many, and a paper 
called The Christian. Reflector was started in Worcester, 
but in 1844 was removed to Boston, where under Rev. H. 
A. Graves it surpassed the older paper in circulation. Mr. 
Graves failed in health and in 1848 a consolidation of 
papers occurred under Rev. J. W. Olmstead and Rev. Wm. 
Hague. Mr. Daniel Sharp Ford, subsequently of Youth' f< Coin- 
IHtnion fame, also entered the editorial corps and by his 
genius made the Watchman and Reflector very attractive 
on outside and inside appearance. Steady improvement was 
made until in 18G7 it was enlarged to an S-page sheet with 
double the amount of reading matter and a slight increase 
of cost. Mr. Ford had large plans for the paper, but re- 
tired from the company in 1807 and entered upon his 
notable career with the Youth's Companion. The Christian 
Era, which had been started in Lowell in 18.52, to express 
more decided anti-slavery sentiments and had good suc- 
cess, was merged into the Watchman and Reflector, the 
combined papers being called Tlie Watchman, at the close 
of 1875. Doctor Olmstead had become sole editor 
on the retirement of Mr. Ford and continued his long and 
eminent career. Doctor Lorimer and Dr. Franklin John- 
son were added as editors in 187(1. Rev. Lucius E. Smith. 
D. D.. took the editorial chair in 1S77. In ISill, Rev. 
(ieorge E. Ilorr, D. D., became editor and brought the 
paper to a high standard of literary merit as a religious 
weekl}'. He changed its form from blanket sheet to the 
present size and shape. It was a perilous step to take, but 


it proved to be a stroke of wise forecast. In 1901, Rev. 
Ediuimd E. Merriam, D. D., who had had years of expe- 
rience in editing and publishing the Missiouanj Magazine 
and literature of the American Baptist Missionary Union, 
\v;is ass(i(i;!t('d with Doctor llorr and succeeded him as ed- 
itor-in-chief in 10(14, when Doctor Ilorr was elected to 
the chair of Chiu'ch History in Newton Theological Insti- 
tute. At the same time Rev. Joseph S. Swaim, a pastor 
for 27 years, was associated with Doctor Merriam. These 
are still editors and largely the owners of the paper. The 
Watchman I'ublishing Company, is a stock company and 
has had a successful flnaucial career and is sustained by a 
loyal and faithful constituency, chiefly in the New England 
States, although going into all the States of the T'nion 
and into Europe and Asia. 

Next in order came The Christian Secvctanj. issued at 
Hartford, Connecticut, in 1S22, under the auspices of the 
Connecticut Baptist Convention, but subsequently published 
by a corporation. In ISHT, it was luiited with a New York 
l)aper, but this arrangement was not satisfactory and in 
1S?>S, TJic Chrisitian ^ccyvtarn was revived Ity its first 
former editor. Rev. Elisha Cushman. He was succeeded 
iiy his son until 1840. Normand Burr and others followed, 
liut in lS<n, at Mr. Burr's death. Rev. Mr. Cushman re- 
sumed editorial charge and so continued until his death 
in 1870, when Rev. S. Dryden Phelps, D. D., entered upon 
his notal)]e service luitil his death. His successor. Rev. 
Charles A. I'iddncl^, sold the pajier to the E.vaniiurr of New 
York in ISO*;. 

In the same year as that of the Christian Sccretarji — 
1822, TJie Cohiinhian Star was issued in Washington, D. C, 
by Luther Rice, assisted by Doctor Staughton. Later it 
was removed to Philadelphia and subsequently to Georgia, 
in 1833, where it is still published as The Chrvstian Index. 
It has had notable names in its editorial ranks — Professor 
Knowlcs, Di-. Biu'on Stow, Dr. W. O. Bi'antlv and 


Dr. H. H. Tucker. It has served the deuomination in 
Georgia with great effectiveness. Its present editor is 
Dr. O. P. Bell. 

In New York State, The New York Baptist Register was 
published in 1824, at Utica. This became the organ of the 
New York Baptist Convention and was later united with 
The Neiv York Christian Recorder, which had grown out of 
the Baptist Advocate, with such editors as Sewall S. Cut- 
ting and Martin B. Anderson. The United Recorder and 
Register was purchased by Doctors Cutting and Edward 
Bright and became The Examiner. Upon Doctor Cutting's 
election to a Rochester professorship, Doctor Bright became 
sole editor and continued so till his death in 1894. In the 
first ten years he doubled its circvilation and made it a 
power in the denomination. In 1865, The New York Chron- 
icle was united with The Examiner. In ]8(>7 it was en- 
larged to a six-column, eight-paged paper. In 1868, The 
Christian Press of New York was united with it and in 
1875 The Outlook. Among other names of editors of the 
different pajiers iinited with TJie Examiner, we find Dr. 
Pharcellus Church, Rev. James S. Dickerson and Rev. 
Henry C. Vedder, now Professor of Church History at 
Crozer Seminary. In 1895, The Christian Inquirer, Rev. 
.John R. Calvert, D. D., editor, was consolidated with The 
Exaniincr, under Dr. Thomas O. Conant, and by these 
two as editors. The Examiner still ministers to the great 
constituency of New York State and adjacent territory. 
* * * * 

In 1828, Zion's Advocate was founded by Adam Wilson, 
D. D., at Portland, Maine. Successive editors have been : 
Revs. Joseph Ricker, D. D., Lewis Colby, W. H. Shailer, D. D.. 
H. S. Burrage. D. D., so long rendering fine service, and 
the present talented editor, Joseph K. Wilson, D. D. For 
eighty years it has had an unbroken history of service, 
chiefly for the people of Maine, by whom it is cherished as 
an old friend. 


In 1831, under the auspices of the Ohio Baptist Conven- 
tion, The Baptist Weekly Journal of the Mississippi Val- 
ley, was published at Cincinnati. Several years later a 
paper called The Cross was incorporated. Later the name 
was changed to The Western Christian Journal. Then an 
Indiana paper, TJie Christian Messcih/cr was united with 
it and Tlie Journal and Messenyer appeared in 1849. 
Later names of editors are: Rev. J. R. Baumes, D. D.. and 
Rev. George W. Lasher, D. I)., who became sole editor in 
1875, and is still at his iiost, vigdrous ;in(l valiant, the Nes- 
tor of Baptist editors and a keen watchman of denomina- 
tional and general currents of thought. 

Baptists of Michigan had numbers and interests sufficient 
to demand a paper, and in 1841, The Christian Herald was 
issued in Detroit under the favoring influence of the State 
Convention. After some changes in the editorial chair and 
financial vicissitudes, it was merged into The Christian 
Times and Witness of Chicago, but was renewed by act 
of the Michigan Convention under the editorship of Rev. 
L. H. Trowbridge and wife, and as The Christian Herald 
continues as the official organ of the Convention, for the 
service of the Baptists of the state. 

In 18");',, the subscriiition list of a paucr 77/r Watch nntn of 
the Prairies, published at Chicago, was bought and The 
Cliristian Times issued. In November, 1853, Rev. Leroy 
Church and Rev. J. A. Smith, D. D., became proprietors 
and editors. Subsequently it was published by Messrs. 
Church and (Joodman until 1875, when Dr. .lames S. 
Dickerson, of Boston, became joint editor and sole pro- 
|)ript()r.- .Vt his death in 187G, his widow. Emma R. Dicker- 
son was associated in the editorship and later his son, 
James Spencer Dickerson. During its 27 years it incor- 
porated The Illinois Baptist, the Witness, of Indianapolis, 
and then the Michigan Christian Herald, when its name 
became The Standard, of Chicago. Messrs. Dickerson and 
R. N. VanDoren are its editors and proprietors, and issue 
a very able paper which covers territory far and near to 


Chicago and is the h'tuling Baptist religious weelily of the 

Another notahle paper was The Katioinil Baptist, pub- 
lished in Pliiladelphia. and having editors in succession : 
Drs. Kendall Brooks. Lemuel Moss and H. L. Wayland. In 
1894 it \Yas incorporated in I'hc E-viuniner. 

Time would fail to tell of all the denominational papers 
started, merged and combined, but we can merely name 
them: The Religions Herald, of Richmond; the Common- 
ircalth, published in Philadelphia; the Pacific Baptist, of 
California: the ('cntrnl Ba/jtist. of St. Louis; the Word and 
Wdif. of Kansas City: the nuptist World, of Louisville: the 
Baptist Ohserrer. of Indianapolis; the Baptist Banner, of 
Parkersburg, W. Va. ; the Baptist Advance, of Little Rock, 
Ark.: the Western J'ccordcr. of Louisville; the Baptist Flag. 
of Fulton, Ky. ; the Baptist Standard, of Dallas, Tex. ; the 
Baptist Record, of Jackson, Miss. ; the Biblical Recorder. 
of Raleigh, N. C. ; the Christian Index, of Atlanta. Ga. ; 
the Baptist Vanguard, of Little Rock. Ark. : Baptist and 
Reflector, of Nashville. Tenn. ; the Baptist Argus, of Louis- 
ville; the Bapjtist CJironiclc. of Louisiana; the Baptist 
Courier, of South Carolina; the Baptist Observer, of Iowa; 
the Baptist Sentinel, of Raleigh, N. C. ; the Christian Ban- 
ner, of Philadelpliia. In the German list we may note: 
l)er Ingend Herald. Der Muntere Saeman. Der Lendbote, 
Ih r \\'e<iiiriiii. Der l.cctiu iishliittt r. all of Cleveland. In 
till' Swedish list: /■''irslaniuiiingiu ocli Heniniet. TgroOaken, 
Heinmets van. 

The story of Baptist journalism shows the projection of 
)tuineroHS papers under the free and independent condition 
of the denomination. Rival papers have been easily start- 
ed and have gained a limited reading constituency, until at 
length the struggle became too sevei'e. or disaster wrecked 
the enterprise, and the small paper was bought by the 
larger one. In the more settle'd portions of the country the 
papers have now their local fields and constituency, one 
cannot touch on another's territory witli success, and the 


waste and coDteution of two papers ou one limited field 
have been learned as a lesson. 

Our religious weeklies are highly esteemed by their sub- 
scribers and convey to them general and local information 
that is indispensable to their development in Christian in- 
telligence and denominational character. The whole num- 
ber of regular papers published in the United States is 
about seventy. In Canada the Ciuiadiaii Baptist and the 
Marlthiic Baptist are pulilished in the East, and one or 
two in the West. But time is not permitted to malce an 
exhaustive review, nor to mention Baptist Journals of 
otlier countries, as England. Germany, Sweden. Our Ba])- 
tist Vvceklies probabl.v represent in their character and 
fi)rm (,uitc fairly the intelligence and interest of their con- 
si ituencies. .Many have their financial difiiculties. owing to 
the lack of full appreciation and responslliility on the part 
of Baptist members. But they are sustained l)y devoted 
editors and serve to guide, unify and co-ordinate the scat- 
tered hosts of the churches l>y whom they are held in 
honor and love. 




An Historical Address* 


It is appropriate that the ceutemiial celebration of re- 
ligious journalism should be held in the city of Portsmouth. 
N. II. It was here that the father of religious journalism 
saw the glorious vision of a free, consecrated, harmonious 
church. It was here that he fought the battle of personal 
religious freedom. It was here that he began to declare 
the principles of religious liberty which gave birth to the 
religious newspaper. It was here that he organized a com- 
pany of believers into a church with the Bible as its state- 
ment of doctrine and guide in matters of discipline and 
with Christian as the distinctive name for its members. It 
\va.s here that tlse first religidus newspaper was issued. 

In the blessings which have flowed from the religious 
press, every denominatlDU has had a large share, and so 
it is appropriate that we of every name and order should 
come here and humbly read the record of the progress 
and beneficent results of the religious press. 

No celebration of the founding of religious journalisin 
can be adequate and just, without some reference to the 
man who edited the first religious newspaper. It has 
often been the unhappy lot of the world's benefactors to 
be unappreciated by the men of their own generation, but 
history generally does justice to her servants. A Columltus 
may langviish in chains, but a grateful nation will rescue 
his name from infamy to which prejudice would 
assign it, and enroll it among the immortals. The father 
of religious journalism is almost an luiknown benefactor 

* Delivered in the T'nilarian church tm Wednesday afternoon, 
September 16th. Mr. Atkinson is Field Agent for the (.'hristian 
College, .Tireh, Wyoming. 


of the race. His name is seldom mentioned in connection 
witb that mighty institution for the regeneration of the 
world — the religions press. Your speaker would not boast- 
fully claim that all the religious newspapers of the past 
century are the direct desceudents of the Herald of Gospel 
Liberty, but he would be unjust to the memory of the 
founder of that paper if he did not claim for him the 
honor of making real the vision of the possible service of 
the religious press. In spite of ignorance, and of poverty, 
and of prejudice, and of calumny, he gave the world 
its first lesson in the value of the newspaper as a 
disseminator of religious intelligence. In some measure 
at least, we may claim for him a share in the glory of that 
host of stalwart penmen of the gospel who have in every 
denomination helped to mould the faith and direct the 
hands of the followers of Christ in their efforts to Chris- 
tianize the world. 

The world may give but little heed to what we say on 
this (iccasiiui. but it cannot forget the beneficent results 
of the life of this pioneer of religious journalism. Men, 
not institutions, are the creators of new epochs. Men, 
iiot occasions and not celebrations, mark the steps of prog- 
ress. We are therefore always interested in men who have 
figured largely in human affairs and have left to succeeding 
generations a legacy of blessing. 

Elias Smith, the founder of religious journalism, was 
born of humlile parentage in Lyme, Conn., June 17, 17G9. 
When he was about thirteen years of age, his parents re- 
moved to South Woodstock, Yt. The country at that time 
was steep hills, buried in dense forests, with only an oc- 
casional settler's clearing. The new home was a log cabin, 
without roof or floor, and with a large stump standing in 
the middle of the one roouL The whole affair was so 
crude that the boy rebelled and actually started to return 
to the old home in Connecticut. 

His residence in AYoodstock had an important influence 
ni)on his life. There he became inured to hardship and 
privation — an experience which trained him for his later 


years of sacrifice. There be became a scbool master. Tbis 
marks tbe awakening of bis l^een intellect. There he had 
a peculiar religious experience which he afterwards recog- 
nized as his conversion. Tbis is tbe lieginning of bis long 
struggle to sijuare all his convictions by tbe plain teaching 
of the Word of God. There be bad bis first clear conscious- 
ness of a call to the Christian ministry, and began to 
prepare himself for that vocation. In 1792 he was or- 
dained as an evangelist, carefully stipulating that be was 
to be free to follow the example of tbe apostles in traveling, 
and preaching tbe gospel. In 1S02 be visited Portsmouth. 
and on tbe first day of tbe next January he organized a 
church. In tbis organization bis independent Bible study 
began to bear fruit. He bad been groping his way toward 
religious liberty. He discarded all sectarian names and 
professed to be merely a "Christian." He stigmatized the 
catechism as a hmnau invention. In tbe summer of 1802 
lie with ten other Baptist preachers formed an organization 
which tbey called "Tbe Christian Conference." These min- 
isters all but committed themselves to leave behind "every- 
thing in name, doctrine, or practice, not found in tbe New 
Testament." When tbey saw that tbe logic of their posi- 
tion would lead them to a separation from tbe Baptists, 
they abandoned their organization, Mr. Smith, however, 
was not disposed to retreat, and when in 180.3 be was 
summoned to appear before the church of Woliurn to answer 
to charges, he immediately withdrew from tbe Baptists 
"for want of fellowship." He declared that be voluntarily 
joined them and that be as voluntarily withdrew fi'om them. 
He stated his position in these words : 

If you wish to know what denomination T bfldn.s to I toll 
you as a professor of religion, I am a Christian ; as a preacuer, 
a minister of Christ ; calling no man father or master ; holding 
as abominable in the sight of Ood everything higlily esteemed 
among men, such as Calvanisni, Arniinianism, free-wlllism, unlver- 
salism, reverend, parsons, chaplains, doctors of divinity, clergy, 
l)ands, surplices, noies. rreeis, cdven.-inis. riliitforn s witli tne 
spirit of slander, which those who hold to these things are too 
often in possession of. 

Notwithstanding his declaration of voluntary withdrawal, 

the church at Woburn exconnnunicated bim. The church 

which be had organized at Portsmouth aliiured all names 


except "Christian" and adopted the Bible as its creed and 
book of discipline. 

Mr. Smith encountered a great deal of opposition. His 
enemies attacked him in print, and he began to use the 
same weapon. This was about 1802. His printed sermons, 
his "History of the Anti-Christ," "Clergyman's Looking 
Glass," "The Whole World Ruled bj' a .Jew," and his 
pungent reviews of contemporary sermons, printed in the 
Christian Magazine, goaded on his enemies and stirred up 
his resourceful mind to find some new and more effective 
method of disseminating his religious views. While on a 
visit to Little Compton, R. I., inthe summer of 1807, Mr. 
Smith met the Hon. Isaac Wilber, who made a proposal 
to him for the publication of a religious newspaper, which 
should be devoted to religious liberty. This gave Mr. 
Smith his cue. A newspaper — what more effective means 
could .be used to reach the people ! And Liberty ! The sub- 
ject that sent a thrill to his heart ! But in his imagination 
he heard the clanking of the slave's chains, and he remem- 
l>ered the persecutions which he had endured to obtain his 
freedom. lie therefore courteously acknowledged the liber- 
ality of Mr. Wilbor"s proposal, but declined to accept it 
for the reason that he and IMr. Wilber might not agree on 
what ought to be published in the paper. He had, however, 
imbibed the idea, and he determined to try the experiment 
alone. Accordingly he set about the task and on Thursday 
evening, September 1, 1808, there was printed in Portsmouth, 
N. H., the first number of the first religious newspaper- 
bearing the name, "The Herald of Gospel Liberty," with 
Elias Smith as editor and publisher. It was a modest 
sheet, containing four pages, and was published "every other 
Thursday evening" at the home of the editor "near .Jeffrey 
Street." The subscription price was one dollar per year, 
exclusive of postage. Fifty cents was to be paid when 
the first number was delivered and the other fifty when 
twenty-six numbers were delivered. It was to be punctually 
forwarded to any part of the United States where con- 
veyance was practicable. Two hundred and seventy-four 
names made up the first subscription list. 


Elias Smith coutinned to publish the Herald of Gospel 
Liberty in Portsmouth until April, ISIO, when for some- 
what more than a year, it was issued at Portland, Maine 
Then it was moved to Philadelphia and published there 
until the editor returned to Portsmouth in February, 1814. 
In the spring of ISIO, Mr. Smith moved to Boston and con- 
tinued to publish his paper there until the close of 1817, 
when it passed into the hands of Robert Foster, who for 
seventeen years published it under the name of the Chris- 
tian Herald at Portsmouth, N. H. In 183.5 it was purchased 
by the Eastern Christian Publishing Association. Elijah 
Shaw was elected editor, the place of pul)]ication was 
changed to Exeter, N. 11. , and the name l^ecame the 
Christian Journal. Later the name was changed to tlie 
Cliristian HcraJd and Journal, and finally the word Journal 
was dropped. In 1850, the Christian Herald was trans- 
ferred to the Christian General Book Association of Albany, 
N. Y., and consolidated with the American Christian Mes- 
senfier under the name of Christian Herald and Messenger. 
The union did not prove satisfactory to the churches of 
New England, and one year later the Eastern Christian 
Publishing Association repurchased the list of Christian 
Herald subscribers and began to issue the paper indepen- 
dently at Newburyport, Mass., March 13, 1851, under the 
original name — The Herald of Gospel Liberty. 

F(ir years thcn^ had lieen some discussion of tlie ad- 
visal)ility of consul idating the denominational papers. Some 
l)apers had been consolidated. The Christian Messenger 
and the Christian Palladium were united with the Herald 
OF Gospel Liberty. All of the papers were largely local- 
ized. There was a growing demand for a publication de- 
V(:)ted to the larger denominational interests. As a result 
of these discussions the Herald of Gospel Liberty and the 
Gospel Herald were consolidated at Dayton, Ohio, in Jan- 
uary, 1868, under the name of the Herald of Gospel Liber- 
ty. It was now the property of the Christian Publishing 
Association, an incorporate body whose delegates at this 
time are the same as those of the American Christian Con- 
vention. It continues to be the property of the Association. 


The Herald of Gospel Liberty was foundetl as au ad- 
vocate of religions liberty. The days of Ellas Smith were 
characterized by strong sectarian prejudices. Religious 
comity and fellowship were bounded by denominational lines. 
But there were men who saw a glorious vision of a new 
day. and rejoiced that the prison doors were being opened. 
They heard a voice saying unto them. "Stand fast therefore 
in the liberty wherewith ("hrist has made us free, and 
be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." "Re- 
ligious liberty,"' according to Ellas Smith, "signifies a free- 
dom to believe in God, and to obey Him according to the 
manifestation which He has made to man, in His works, 
in the Scri]itures, and by the Spirit of truth." He re- 
garded every kind of human law respecting religion as 
inconsistent with real religious liberty. 

In the Herald of Gospel Liberty of January 19, 1810. 
the editor issued a "Protest," from which we give the fol- 
lowing quotation to show the advocacy of the paper : 

I do in the first place publicly declare, that the Holy Scriptures, 
which contain a revelation of the will of God. are the only 
sure, authentic and infallihle rule of the faith and practice of 
every Christian, bj- which all opinions are to be fairly and im- 
partially examined ; and in consequence of this I do protest against 
setting up and allowing the decrees of any man, or body of men, 
as of equal authority and obligation with the word of God ; 
whether they be councils, synods, convocations, associations, mis- 
sionary societies, companies called churches, or general assemblies ; 
whether ancient or modern, Romish, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Con- 
gregational, Baptist, or Methodist, Popes, Fathers, or Doctors of 

I do furtlier assert and maintain, according to the doctrine 
of Christ and the apostles, and the practice or Christians in the 
first century : that in all things essential to the faith and practice 
of a Christian, the Scriptures are plain, and easy to be under- 
stood, by all who will diligently and impartially read and study 
them : and that charging- the Scriiitures with ()iis<-'n-it\- .-nit un- 
certainty is contrary to the plain declaration of the Scriptures, 
and is an abuse of the rule given for Christians to walk by, and 
an insult upon the Holy Spirit by which the authors of them 
were guided. 

I do further assert that every Christian is under an indispensable 
oliligation to search the Scripture for himself, and make the best 
use of it he can for his inforniation in tlie wi I of (-ol. :inrl the 
nature of pure religion ; that he hath an unalienable right, im- 
partially to judge the sense and meaning of it. and to foibiw tbe 
Scripture wherever it leads him, even an equal right with the 
bishops and pastors of the churches : and in consequence of this 
I further protest against that unrighteous and ungodly pretence 
of making writings of the fathers, the decrees of councils and 
synorls, ov the sense of the church, the rule and standard of 
judging the sense of the Scriptures as popish. anti-Christian, and 
dangerous to the church of God. 


I do further assert and maintain that every Christian hath 
an equal right to the peaceable and constant possession of what 
he believes to lie the truth contained in the Scriptures, and ought 
to be left by all men. and secured by the civil government, in the 
full and undisturbed enjoyment of them ; even though his principles 
may in many things be contrary to what the Reverend D. D."s call 

As truth is no man's private property, and all Christians, are 
under obligations to propagate it : I do also declare that every 
Christian has a right to publish and vindicate what he believes 
is contained in the Scriptures : to speak and to write against 
all corruption of the word, either in doctrine or practice ; and 
to expose the errors of good men, and the wickedness, oppression 
and hypocrisy of ungodly rren : tliat every Christian lias not 
only a right, but is commanded to separate from such professors 
whose doctrine and worship are contrary to what he finds recorded 
in the Scriptures ; and that he has a right to enjoy without dis- 
turbance, oppression or disgrace or any kind of punishment, civil 
or ecclesiastical, the liberty of serving God, with any other 
company of Christians, as he shall judge most expedient and use- 
ful to him. 

Ill 1810, when ^Ir. Smith's work as editor of the Herald 
OF Gospel Liberty was practically completed, he defined 
his position as follows : 

The Holy Scriptures are the only sure, authentic and inf.illihle 
rule of faith and practice : the name Christian is the only proper 
one for the believer ; in all essentials the Scriptures are plain to 
be understood ; every Christian is free to examine the Scriptures 
for himself and to impartially judge the sense and meaning of 
t^e same: every Christian has a riubt to Dulilish and vindicate 
what he believes is contained in the Scriptures and to serve God 
according to his own conscience. 

The principles of religious liberty as advocated l)y Elias 
Smith at the beginning of his journalistic career were but 
little altered at any time by him. and governed the conduct 
of the i)aper under his editorial management. He contended 
earnestly for the Word of God as the final source of appeal 
in religious matters. He opposed doctrines and dogmas 
which could not be stated in the language of the Bilile. 
He was relentless in his opposition to religious despotism 
and his paper teemed with articles on liberty. His liitter 
invectives were hurled relentlessly against <'hurch polities, 
clerical trappings, ministerial titles, ecclesiastical associa- 
tions, hireling preachers, creeds and all the "isms" which 
to him seemed to be forms of religious tyranny. He con- 
tended for apostolic simiilicity in church organizations and 
in religious worshi]). 

Tlie Herald of Gospel Liberty however, was more than 
an arena for the discussion of theological questions. It 


was in a true sense a religious newspaper. On tlie first 
page of eacti number of the early volumes these words were 
printed as the motto of the paper : 

ITrom realms far distant, and from climes unknown ; we make 
the knowledge of our King your own. 

The purpose of the paper was expressed in the following 
poem which appeared in the first number. 

Had I a thousand mouths, a thousand tongues, 

A throat of brass and adamantine lungs, 
rd sound redeeming love through all the earth. 

The love that gave me hrst and second birth ; 
I'd tell to all creation's utmost space, 

How great His goodness and how rich His grace 
Till wondering nations should His grace adore, 

Jehovah's Christ, God blest for ever more. 

One of the most important departments was called "Re- 
ligious Intelligence." In this department appears reports 
from churches, ministers, and conferences or general gather- 
ings. It was through the Herald of Gospel Liberty that 
the Christians of New England, the South and the West 
became acquainted and were gradually drawn into a closer 
fellowship. In 1812 there was but one state in the Union 
where the paper was not sent. 

In 1818 Robert Foster had secured control of the paper 
and sent forth his first number from Portsmouth in May, 
bearing the name Christian Herald. The character of the 
paper was greatly changed by the new editor. 

"Perhaps the time has come," the editor wrote, "when 
arguments instead of censure, and entreaties instead of 
the scourge may do more for the cause of truth than a 
host of censurers and volumes of invectives." 

It was proposed to give particular attention to the man- 
ners and customs of the times in which the Scriptures were 
written, to present such historical subjects and miscella- 
neous articles as would be consistent with the design of 
the paper, to give accounts of the revivals of religion among 
the denominations, to present foreign religious information 
and to make the paper the herald of the pleasing intelli- 
gence that Christians of every denomination were manifest- 
ing a larger liberty and a warmer fellowship which were 
prophetic of the coming day when they would all be one. 


The conti'oversial spirit disappears almost completely, and 
tlie Cliristian Herald was indeed the harbinger of a more 
peaceful daj'. 

For seventeen years Robert Foster carried the burden 
of this publication. He was both editor and publisher. His 
financial resources drained and his health destroyed, he 
surrendered his papers to the Eastern Christian Publishing 
Association, and Elijah Shaw became the editor. The 
Cliristian Herald became the Christian Joti)-nal. 

April 1835, marks a decided change in the history of this 
paper. Before that time it had been the property of indi- 
viduals and had a hard struggle to maintain its existence. 
It then passed into the control of an association. The 
whole character of the paper was changed so as to meet 
the needs of the growing denomination. The three inde- 
pendent movements out of which came the Christian Con- 
nection, had merged into one, and chnrrhes had been es- 
tablished in Canada and in nearly every state east of the 
Mississippi. The churches had been organized into con- 
ferences, and the conferences were working together through 
a General Convention, now known as the American Chris- 
tian Convention. 

The Christian Journal was responsive to this enlarging 
denominational life. The paper was enlarged, and was 
issued semi-monthly until 1839. Since that time it has 
been published weekly. The number of contributors was 
greatly increased. The departments of the paper were 
changed, and included contributed articles, editorials, re- 
ligious intelligence, obituaries, youth's department, temper- 
ance, and notices. The motto of the paper was expressed 
in these words : "In necessary things, unity ; in non-essen- 
tials, liberty : in all things, charity."' 

It will be impossible to give a detailed review of the 
Herald of Gospel Liberty under the management of each 
of its editors. We shall therefore be content with some 
brief references to the advocacy of the paper concerning 
some of the vital subjects of discussion. 

From 183~) to the close of the Civil War, slavery was a 
living issue in politics and in religion. In 1838 the Asso- 


ciatiou passed a resolution providiDg that the columns of 
the Christian Journal should be open for articles on the 
evils and sin of slavery, so far as the same may involve 
the fundamental principles of morality and religion. Three 
years previous some articles had appeared on this sub- 
ject. The first one began with these \A'ords : "We believe 
slavery to be sin, always, everywhere, and only sin." These 
words express the attitude of the paper towards the in- 
stitution of slavery. As the years passed and the war- 
clouds began to gather, the opposition became more intense. 
Doubtless the strong denunciation of slavery by the various 
contributors and editors had much to do in paving the way 
for the unfortunate division in the General Convention at 
Cincinnati, when the southern delegates withdrew and the 
southern churches formed an independent body. When the 
war came and President Lincoln issued his call for volun- 
teers to defend the Union, the Herald of Gospel Liberty" 
gave the full measure of its influence to the Union cause, 
urged the citizens of the Republic to enlist in the national 
army, and advocated the overthrow of the institution of 
slavery. When the war was over and the citizens of our 
great Republic were again devoting their energies to the 
arts of peace, the Herald of Gospel Liberty preached the 
gospel of peace and good -will. It contributed its share to- 
wards the consummation of the union of the churches North 
and South — a union which is an accomplished fact, and to-day 
in the Christian denomination there is no North, no South, 
for we are all brethren. 

The Herald of Gospel Liberty has been patriotic, an 
advocate of justice, a defender of the oppressed, an enemy 
of corruption, a foe of the lirjuor traffic, a friend of man. 

On the subject of education the paper has not been uni- 
form in its attitude. Its first editor lived in troublous days. 
He was much persecuted for his fnith, and his life was 
always a strenuous one. Some of his positions were certainly 
unsound. This is especially true of his attitude toward educa- 
tion. He emphasized strongly the necessity of a call to 
the ministry, and evidently thought that a college man 
"■"uld onlv be a man-made minister. It is not strange then 


that the Herald under bis management should be opposed 
to an educational qualification for the minister. After the 
days of Ellas Smith the opposition to a literary education 
gradually ceased but it was not until the days of Elijah 
Shaw, Daniel P. Pilce and Austin Craig that the Herald 
became the friend and defender of the theological seminary. 
Under the influence of these men. many friends of educa- 
tion were raised up, and nearly all the movements which have 
resulted in the founding of church schools have been greatly 
accelerated by the co-o_peration of the Herald. Starkey 
Seminary, the Christian Biblical Institute, Antioch College, 
and Union Christian College especially found a warm sup- 
porter in our church paper, and in recent years the Herald 
has had a department devoted to the interests of education. 

The earlj' ministers of the Christian Church were nearly 
all missionaries. Abner .Jones, Elias Smith. ^Nlark Feruakl. 
Elijah Shaw, Barton W. Stone, David Purviance, James 
O'Kelly, and a host of others travelled extensively and 
preached the gospel wherever they found an open door. 
These men and their successors gave character to the 
Herald of Gospel Liberty, and made it the preacher of a 
missionary gospel. Under Robert Foster news from the 
foreign land was gladly welcomed. If the denomination 
was slow in sending its missionaries to the heathen, we 
can still truthfully say that the pioneer of religious journal- 
ism long and earnestly advocated the work in foreign lauds. 
and when a leader was found to direct the missionary zeal 
in practical channels, the Herald was the medium through 
wbicli our beloved Dr. .T. P. Watson reached the members 
of the church and interested them in his children's mission, 
from which have evolved our present missionary enterprises. 
The missionary department of the paper had been wisely 
and faithfully used to foster Christian work at home and 

Time fails me in which to speak of the splendid work 
of the Herald oi-^ Gospel Liberty in the interest of temper- 
ance, the home, the Sunday-school, the Young People's So- 
ciety, the American Christian Convention, and a host of 
other denominational enterprises. 


The Herald has been fortunate in its editors and con- 
tributors. Elias Smith, its founder and first editor, was a 
natural, forceful orator, a successful evangelist, an able 
serniouizer, an intrepid reformer, a brilliant journalist. 
His character was above reproach. His conscience was 
tender. His love of liberty was deep and abiding. By 
temperament, by zeal, by a wide experience, he was well 
fitted to be the leader of a new movement. While his 
habit of introspection sometimes caused him to be despond- 
ent and his reformatory zeal occasionally led him astray, 
yet his doctrinal contentions largely foreshadowed the ac- 
cepted position of the church to-day. His positions on the 
education and support of the ministry, and the organiza- 
tion of churches and conferences were probably unsound, 
still his note of warning was not wholly unjustified by 
prevailing conditions. "On the whole he was a I'emarkable 
man, and lacked little of true greatness, being one of the 
commanding figures of his day in New England." 

His successor in the editorial chair was a man of a 
different type. Robert Foster was not a preacher. He was 
a man of kind and gentle disposition. He loved the church 
and was enraptured with the service of his Master. When 
Elias Smith lost his standing with the Christian Connection 
because of his acceptance of Universalism, the confidence 
of the church in the Herald of Gospel Liberty was shaken. 
Robert Foster was the man to restore that confidence. He 
was neither narrow nor bigoted in his denominational views, 
but no one ever charged him with disloyalty. He success- 
fully piloted his enterprise through the troubled waters, 
until he gave his charge into the hands of his successor, the 
Rev. Elijah Shaw. 

Elijah Shaw was a man of versatile talents. A careful 
student, an interesting preacher, a splendid organizer, a 
prodigious worker, he made his paper a voice of authority, 
calling for renewed vigor in evangelistic, educational, tem- 
perance, benevolent and missionary enterprises. Under 
the inspiration of his pen. New England took on new life. 
He was largely instrumental in saving the churches from 


the delusion of Millerism, and in checking the advances of 

For one year the Herald was united with the Christian 
Messenger of Albany, N. Y., with the Rev. Jasper Hazen as 
editor, and then it returned to New England. This was 
in 1851. For a number of years then there was an editorial 
board composed of Daniel P. Pike, John B. Weston, O. J. 
Wait, E. Edmunds, David E. Millard, Austin Craig, Thomas 
Holmes, John W. Haley, B. F. Summerbell and others. 
These names are the guarantee of the excellent character 
of the paper. Daniel P. Pike was the stalwart defender 
of the principles of the Christian Church. Jolni B. Weston 
for years has stood for the education of onv ministers, and 
no history of our educational work would be complete with- 
out the mention of his name. Austin Craig was the prophet 
of the Christian Biblical Institute, the peerless teacher of 
Biblical theology. Thomas Holmes is our classical theolo- 
gian and educator. 

For some years previous to 18G3 Benjamin F. Carter was 
the resident editor of the Herald with John W. Haley as- 
sociate editor. 

In 1868 the Rev. Henry Y. Rush became editor. Doctor 
Rush was a forceful writer, a clear thinker, a thoughtful 
friend, and under him the Herald became the organ of 
the Christian Church, and the preacher of a piu'e gospel. 
His voice was the voice of inspiration. 

He was followed by the historian of our church. Dr. N. 
Summerbell. Doctor Summerbell had deep convictions, and 
an intense love for the truth. He was a ready writer and 
speaker. He believed that our cause is the cause of heaven 
and we have no right to resign it, betray it, forsake or 
neglect it. 

His successor was the advocate of temperance and "lov- 
ing religion," the Rev. Dr. Thomas M. McWhinney, who in 
later years has made a reputation for himself as an author 
and lecturer. 

The Rev. Asa W. Coan and the Rev. C. J. Jones, D. D.. 
were forceful orators, as well as clear and vigorous writers. 
The Rev. Mr. Coan was disqualified for his duties by a 


stroke of paralysis, aud Doctor Jones was called into the 
evangelistic field — a work for which he was well qualified. 
His successor was the Rev. Dr. Josiah P. Watson, whose 
recent departure brought sadness to the hearts of the entire 
brotherhood. He was much loved by all the people, for 
he was the friend of all. A man of lai'ge sympathies, of 
intense loyalty aud capable of prodigious taslvs, he identi- 
fied himself with the whole denominational life. 

For abovit eight months in 1893 the Rev. George D. 
Black wielded a versatile pen in the editorial office as an 
associate editor with Doctor Watson. 

Of the two remaining editors, the Rev. .J. J. Summerbell. 
D. D., and the pi'esent incumbent, the Rev. J. Pressley 
Barrett, D. D., I forbear to speak, except to say that the 
present modern, vigorous, loyal, spiritual Herald of Gospel 
IjIberty owes its many recent improvements in character 
and mechanical make-up to their strong, judicious editorial 

It remains only for me to say a few words concerning 
the spirit of the Herald of Gospel Liberty. 

If we go back a hundred years we shall find ouvselve> 

in a different world. It was a world of controversy. One 

writer describes it as follows : 

On every side the voice of controversy was blatant. Arminianism 
accused Calvinism, Adtilt-baptism smote Pedo-baptism, Predes- 
tinarianism belabored Freedom of the Will, Free (irace tramplel 
upon Election. Every pulpit was an entrenclied re-lonbt froni "-'-ic'' 
safe spot to deliver hot shot, well aimed, not so much against 
sin and sinners as against the pulpit across the way. What 
the ministers expounded the deacons and the people elaborated. 
Theological debate was rife, in the parlor, in the kitchen, in the 
tavern and in the blacksmith shop. Church members, or unre 
generate persons, all had the language of dogmatic contention, and 
all were naming their adversaries reproachfully, and consigning 
them to the nethermost perdition. 'I''o cdnplere tne pict\ire o 
the period, one must remember that on the frontier line there 
was no lack of primilive vices. P>r:Tvli'ig. Sabbath-bre-iki'v;-, nn.- 
fane cursing, drunkentiess and profligacy were so common that 
the letters of the period, as well as the sermons that have come 
down to us, all have their wail at the prevalence of iniquity. 

"Into a society like this, of sinners sinning exceedingly. 

and of saints quarrelling contumaciously" came the Herald 

OF Gospel Liberty, "declaring the sinfulness of sin, aud 

proclaiming everywhere that men should repent, and that 

Christians without respect to their opinions should serve 


the same Christ, and live tn.^'etlier in l>rotlK'iiy fellowsliip." 

The central idea in the Herald of Gospel Liberty has 
heen the Christ, and the contention of the editors and con- 
tributors has been for the right of the individnal to come 
into personal fellowship with Him. That- was the 
meaning of its supporters when they wrote in its platform 
the declaration that the Bible is the only creed of the 
church, the Christ is the only head of the church, and the 
name Christian is the proper distinctive designation of the 
follower of the Master. 

They reasoned in this fashion : God has spolieu to men. 
A portion of that message has been crystallir'ed into the 
liihlc. What has been written is for our instruction, and 
is the final snurce of appeal in all matters of doubt or 
discussion. The adoption of any doctrinal statement as 
fundamental in church government is to dethrone the Bible 
and to deny to the individual the right of personal investi- 
gation. If they opposed creeds and doctrines and forms of 
church government — and they did oppose these things — 
it was because they believed tliese things stood as barriers 
between the believer and his Christ. 

They wished to be a Bible people, and their theology to 
be Biblical theology. For that reason they contended that 
doctrines should be expressed in the language of the Bible. 
Their love for the Christ inspired them to place great emphasis 
upon His leadership. He is the head of the church. They 
adopted the name Christian, not because they denied that 
others were Christians, but as most suggestive and promo- 
tive of Christian fellowship. 

It seems not to have occurred to the early writers that 
there could be any serious differences of opinion among 
free Christians. Time however revealed to them the fact 
that not all their differences were removed by the freedom 
granted their nienibers. Two important (luestlons were 
therefore raised: (1.) What are the rights of the indi- 
vidual in such cases? (2.) What shall be the basis of 

The first question was answered l)y the editor when he 
asserted that every Christian is under an indispensalile ol> 


ligation to search the Scriptures for himself, and to pub- 
lish and vindicate what he believes is contained therein. 

As to the basis of fellowship, it was declared that not 
dogma but vital piety, not belief concerning the Christ, but 
attitude toward Him, not theological opinion, but Christian 
character should be the determining factor. If a man by 
his life shows the fruits of the Spirit, he should be fellow- 
shiped as a Christian. 

And so the spirit of the Heeald of Gospel Liberty has 
been one of loyalty to God, to His Son, Jesus Christ, and 
to His Word, the Holy Scriptures. The liberty of the Chris- 
tian is bounded on all sides by the sphere in which God 
reigns, and within that sphere he is to be vmtrammeled by 
the traditions of the fathers. 






It was probably tbe purpose of tbe committee in as- 
signing this subject to me that some representation might 
be granted to the first heatlien (?) country which the 
Christians attempted to evangelize. We often speak of 
Japan as being our first foreign mission field. It is at 
least a debatable question whether this may not be an 
historical inaccuracy since the Canadian Foreign Mission 
Enterprise was inaugurated spontaneously by ministers 
from New York State over seventy years ago and has 
been untouched by all such tragedies as mission treasury 

Outside of our greatest enterprise, that of publishing 
for one hundred years the Herald or Gospel Liberty, we 
have made some contributions which may fairly be con- 
sidered of substantial value to religious literature. 

In tlie southland The Christian Sun has been published 
more than sixt.v years and there may be some present to- 
day* who will have the pleasure of witnessing its centennial, 
for verily its natural force is not abated and its vision 
is keener and its enterprise more aggressive than ever. 
It is a doughty champion of the right and a loyal and 
trusted re]iresentative of the Christian Church, south. 

77/c CJiristifi}/ VinKjiKtrd of Ontario is now reaching uj) 
to manhood, has an increasing number of loyal supi)orters, 
aims at representing tlie Canadian church which owns and 
controls it and is proud to numlier itself among the re- 
ligious forces which the Christians are trying to direct 
in oi-der to enthrone righteousness in this North America 
of ours and the world at large. 

♦ Delivered on Wednesday aftei'noon, September 16, in the 
Unitarian Church. Mr. Dales is Professor of French in Mcilaster 
University, Toronto, Canada, 


Like all other movements our new Protestantism has 
had its aggressive leaders and champions and to-day their 
names are household words in our homes. It would be 
strange indeed were not some record of the lives of these 
men left to us in books. Here and there an enthusiastic 
admirer, or a convert, has seized the pen and given us 
word pictures of the old strenuous days when verily it 
seemed to be the purpose of all men "to contend for the 
faith." ^ye have not one too many of these books. The 
lives of Shaw, Walter, Summerbell, Craig. Millard, Gai'dner, 
and a host of others inspire us to live a life that is worth 
while. They teach us, too, that men with strong convictions 
regarding life and doctrine are certain to be purposeful, 
persistent and successful in evangelistic and pastoral work. 
The Standing Committee on Publications will do well to 
encourage this feature of our literary output. 

In ethics and philosophy our Publishing House has issued 
interesting and suggestive works from the pen of Dr. 
T. M. McWhinney, whose recent literary effort entitled, 
The Dcmocrac}/ of Religion has been most favorably re- 
ceived by the press. 

At the Jamiary, (1908) meeting of the Publication Com- 
mittee, it was decided to accept for publication and cir- 
culation the manuscript of a story entitled A Puritan Cap- 
tain. This is a radical departure in policy. It is believed, 
however, that the business and privilege of a publishing 
association is to send forth any book whose purpose is 
healthy and heartening. The committee believe, therefore, 
that they have pursued the right course. 

We have issued tracts in abundance and at present thou- 
sands of these leave our House every year. They deal 
with evangelistic interests, discuss doctrinal subjects and 
forward missionary and denominational plans. 

As a body of religious workers we have always laid 
stress upon the vital doctrines of Christianity. (See Scrip- 
ture Doctrine, Dr. J. .1. Summerbell, Dr. J. B. Weston, and 
others. ) 

Our creed is the Biltle. we aim to express Bible truths 
in Bible language, and we long for the time when all de- 


noiBinations ^Yill be known only as Christians, thus em- 
phasizing that "name ^Yhic•h is above every name." 

The interests of church union have found frequent and 
forceful expression in our literature. This is a consumma- 
tion devoutly to be wished, but, if it is to be lasting, we 
see how inevitable and spontaneous must be the causes pro- 
moting it. We, therefore, accept and strive to further this 
movement by whatever plans Christian fellowship suggests, 
having always due regard for that whicli has been com- 
mitted to our care. 

Our Sundaj^-school literature is one of the most im- 
portant departments of our work, as a publishing associa- 
tion. Its circulation has now reached unprecedented figures 
and the opportunity of the Sunday-school editor, as he 
speaks from week to week to his vast audience of adults 
and children, is a privilege justly prized and nobly used 
both by our dear departed Doctor Watson and his faithful 

Besides numerous local papers, we have yet to mention 
The Christian Missionary and Dr. J. G. Bishop, the man 
whose claims upon our gratitude have never yet been entire- 
ly understood, nor fully appreciated. He has built some- 
thing that has endured — a sure proof of his forethought and 
wise management. 

And now a word in conclusion, even should it seem vision- 
ary. Why not a Christian Culture Course for our yoimg 
people — our Christian Endeavorers. and our sometime 
licentiates and ministers. 

The lives of the founders of our movement afford rich 
material for such study. Their problems are our problems, 
and their vigorous faith and purposeful lives are well cal- 
culated to inspire us for the battle of life. 

Where Wednesday Evening Session was held. 




Barely a hundred years ago, — but such a hundred, crowded 
with great events, more than could be expressed in a Cycle of 
Cathay, Elias Smith ventured in this old New Hampshire town 
of Portsmouth, to edit and publish the Herald of Gospel 
Liberty, the first religious journal in the world. It was a 
step into an unknown field, an enterprise as daring in its 
way as Columbus' voyage from Palos, or the landing of the 
Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock ; counting not merely the one 
periodical, but the multitude of which it was the harbinger, 
and carrying results hardly less momentous and far-reach- 
ing. In that little sheet, fac-similes of which many of you 
possess, as in the pent up gases of Jovite or Shimose, laj' 
the power to shake a nation to its moral center and over- 
whelm the frowning citadel of sin. 

That journalism, speaking in the broadest way, is an 
educational force requires no discussion. Of course it is 
understood that many of the sheets that are ground out 
in such daily profusion, are not possessed of the loftiest 
ideals. It is a matter of common knowledge that some pub- 
lications are chiefly concerned to sell so many miles of 
white paper, and worry themselves little over what is im- 
pressed on the paper. Be it what it may :• — the story of how the 
dirt flies at Panama, or the latest racy domestic intelligence 
from Sioux Falls ; the synopsis of Dr. Eloquent's latest 
top-loftical sermon or the explanation of how the three-card 
monte man swindles the rubes ; the half-tone of the tallest 
Manhattan skyscraper or the colored page, showing Buster 
Brown in his cheerful arrangement of a bent pin for the eleva- 
tion of Grandpa Brown : — all is grain for his grist and flsh 

* Delivered on Wednesday evening', September IGth, in the 
North Congregational church. Dr. Summerbell is President of 
Palmer Institute-Starkey Seminary, Lakemont, N. Y. 



for his net, so long as it helps sell the paper. And it is 
equally a matter of common knowledge that some pens are 
venal, and are to be bought and sold with the plant, so 
that within twenty-four hours the same hand may have been 
advocating high-tariff or no tariff ; free gambling or anti- 
gambling. Yet, for all that, the press as a whole, clean 
papers or yellow papers ; papers that print all the news 
that it is fit to print, or papers in which, if you see it, you 
know that it is so, or papers that you hardly want to 
pick up with the tongs ; — papers, good, bad or indifferent ; — 
all are helping to mold life and teach the people. You 
know that they have a saying over in England that the 
ha'penny press is educating the world, and there is no 
little truth in the suggestion. As a matter of fact, I am 
far less keen than I used to be in my antagonism to cer- 
tain periodicals. At one time I was strongly of the notion 
that what America wanted was a censor of the press, em- 
powered like the censor in Russia to blot out objectionable 
copy from any publication. But with ray present experience 
of life I have come to see that the ruder mind must have 
its ruder portraiture, and that it is far better for the un- 
trained, or the half-trained to read something, rather than 
to be scared by the high-toned propriety of our fli'st-class 
periodicals into reading nothing at all. It was a wise 
speech of Dr. Johnson's when he said: "Read anything five 
hoiu's a day and you will become learned," and the thought 
has this application to the press, that reading almost any- 
thing is better than no reading, and that no editor 
or publisher can put out a sheet which the American public 
will buy, that can be altogether bad, or that will not present 
something to awaken intelligence and broaden the under- 
standing. Even the absurdities of the professional crank 
will stir the reader to resent his foolishness, and the vicious 
sneer of the hireling against truth, and purity, and good- 
ness rouses up a spirit that sees truth and purity and good- 
ness in clearer perspective, and so teaches to admire the 
admirable. Certainly the press is an educational power, as 
every man knows who recalls how the London Times, the 
Thunderer, used to make and unmake Prime Ministers, or 


how Missouri Border Ruffians tiated Owen Lovejoy's paper, 
or how Horace Greeley's Trihiuic wakened the Xortli to 
sustain the Union, or how Thomas Nast's caustic pencil 
helped Father Knickerbocker to turn the rascals out of 
the House of Plunder. The same power is exercised no less 
to-day. Charles E. Hughes is a great man, but the people 
would not yet have discovered his greatness, had not the 
press printed his masterly investigations and scattered 
broadcast his manly appeals and addresses. The Roman 
poet Vergil once pictured dead souls in the nether world as 
suspended from trees, where their evil taint was beaten out 
by rain and wind ; and so to-day measures and men are 
suspended before the American people on the columns 
of the press, their evil exposed to the wholesome scorn of 
a clean-souled citizenship. 

It is because of the power of the press that great business 
concerns are operating the "square deal," and that with 
the politicians, graft, the shaking of the plum tree, and 
addition, division and silence are going out of date, until 
we have come to that pass in our national life that only 
men of clean record dare aspire to high office, and that 
now, as ve are on the threshold of a presidential election 
we can be assured that we have clean men fci- our leaders: 
men so clean, and pure, and noble that no man — broad- 
minded man, or rankest partisan — dare lift a railing accu- 
sation against them. That Avay it was not one hundred 
years ago, nor fifty, nor twenty. The vituperations hurled 
at a political opponent in the days of Washijigton, of 
Jefferson, of Jackson, of Lincoln, of Bbiine, were a disgrace 
to the nation, and force us to hide our fa<-es in shame, 
did we not know that the most of them were manufactured 
for the occasion, and that those who circulated them the 
most briskly believed them only till the vote was cast. As 
a fact, statesmen and statesmanship have been growing in 
character. Personal conduct is on the higher plane than 
when General Washington had to rebuke Charles Lee on 
Monmouth field, and when in the forties and fifties a polit- 
ical banquet wound up with half of the guests tnider the 
table. The American patriot has been educated to better 


ways and much of the change is doubtless due to the in- 
telligence, the activity and the growing sense of honor of 
the American press. 

Much of what has just been said will apply with justice 
to the religions press. I say much, but by no means all ; 
for religious journalism has its own field, in which it owns 
opportunities and exerts activities which are peculiarly its 
own. When we come to observe this field and the activi- 
ties mentioned, we observe that both are wide. For relig- 
ious journalism begins with the child, just able to toddle 
to the infant class of the Sunday-school, and it follows 
his whole career, taking it for granted that he inclines 
to religious sympathy, so long as he has an eye to read, or 
a mind to comprehend. 

Every time that a child reaches out his hand for the Sun- 
day-school paper ; every time the man, seated at his fireside 
opens up his Herald or Gospel Liberty, his Ad rocatr, bis 
Observer, his Morning Star, his Independent, his Outlook, 
his Adviuicc; every time the minister in his study peruses 
his denominational quarterly ; every time the mission class 
reads from the Endeavor World, or the Mission Monthly, ho 
is under the educational influence of religious journalism. 
Because it enjoys the freedom of the home circle, because 
it touches the profoundest emotions of the human heart, 
faith, hope, duty, love ; because it plays skilfully and persist- 
ently on these emotions all the way from the cradle to 
the grave, we recognize that its educational influence must 
be potent and abiding. 

The aim of religious journalism brings us to the same 
conclusion. All of its purposes are educative, and all the 
more so, since they are exercised in so many forms, and 
touch the reader on so many sides of his being. 

The religious journal educates because it disseminates 
religious intelligence. Back a century ago the new jour- 
nalism must have been narrow, and every one of the de- 
nominational organs, as each came into being, made 
it its business to give out the news of its own body, with 
very slight concern for the others, unless the mention made 
of the others was uncomplimentary. To-day, religious 


journalism is on a broader plane. It is so, because all our 
life is broader, and we see that whatever affects others re- 
ligiously has presently effects upon ourselves. Accordingly, 
all wide-awake religious journals, whether deuominational, 
or intei'denomiuational, report all occurrences that generally 
affect the religious world. Any movement of importance, 
whether the planting of a new mission station on the other 
side of the world, or the starting of settlement work in the 
slums of a great city, or the call of the governor of a 
great commonwealth for the people to rally to his support 
as he pushes some fresh phase of moral reform, is spread 
on its pages, and so it is brought at once to the hearts of 
the people who are most interested in that class of intel- 
ligence. May it be said that the purveying of news is the 
business of the secular press, and that it will be well at- 
tended to by that agency, without need of help from the 
religious press? That may be so to a degree, but to a de- 
gree only, for the agency is so uncertain. The secular 
press to its credit has discovered that there is good money 
in some kinds of religious news. We remember how a 
great newspaper telegraphed the entire Revised New Tes- 
tament from New York to Chicago, and printed it for its 
readers, while express trains were carrying the printed 
books that had come over from Oxford, across the conti- 
nent. But it has to be remembered that the secular press 
ill sizing up the value of religious news has its own stand- 
ard. It figures all the news by commercial rating. It 
wants most that kind of news that goes with a two or 
three inch scare head. Accordingly, the secular press pur- 
veys the religious news, which is rarely of the scare-head 
sort, sporadically and incompletely. Time and again you 
will see, even in your favorite daily, an entire broadside 
given up to the account of a murder case, or a divorce 
case, or a prize fight, while a great religious convention will 
get merely an obscure corner. If an elephant breaks away 
from a circus and makes a ten-mile run across country, 
he will have a column, telling graphically how he burst 
through the excited crowd, how the women went into hys- 
terics, how he lifted a horse over a fence, and how at last 


he was corralled in Farmer X's barnyard and subdued by 
a pack of men with pitchforks. But the same paper will 
cut the death and career of a prominent divine, who has 
devoted his life to the service of God and the church, to 
ten or twenty lines. In this manner the secular press 
presents a distorted picture in the album of life. It ex- 
alts the sensational and minimizes the important. 

To restore tone and reality to the picture, is the prov- 
ince of the religious press. It must hold the true balance. 
It must display the religious intelligence which the secular 
press has reported half-way, or suppressed. To know what 
is really happening in the religious world — to have the 
facts of religious happenings and tendencies displayed be- 
fore the mind, so that it may have reliable material for 
thought, is educational, and wisely educational. 

The religious n'ournal educates also because it gives sane 
and adequate discussion of religious questions. Here again 
we may be advised that the secular press is emulating the 
religious press, and that it is laying hold of great ques- 
tions in an intelligent manner. And we will readily grant 
the proposition to a limited degree. The great reviews and 
the dailies of our largest cities will frequently give con- 
siderable space to religious themes that happen to be prom- 
inent in the public mind. But here again we observe the 
same discrimination that we noted before. For the secular 
press to take up this sort of copy, there must be in it 
something of the sensational already, and then the secular 
editors will toss oil on the sensational blaze to make it 
flash up more sensationally. Very seldom does the secular 
press drag out a neglected religious topic with the purpose 
of teaching the people a better understanding of the fun- 
damentals of life. But the religious journal is established 
to make religious truths vital in the hearts of the people. 
Here is the broad field of religious truth, the fundamental 
things, right philosophies of being, an Intelligent view of 
the Creator, and man's relation to the infinite and the 
future, the entire range of human duty, and the boundless 
perspectives of human destiny — all these wonderfully im- 
portant topics are continually under earnest discussion In 


tbe religious press. In bringing such themes prominently 
and persistently before the people, and in familiarizing 
them with the ripest thought of the age respecting them, 
the religious press is accomplishing a far-reaching educa- 
tional work. 

Another important function of religious journalism is that 
of impressing religious obligation. While the religious 
paper sets the people to thinking, it is also pointing out 
cogently how the right thinking should materialize into 
the form of right doing. It calls to mind the various be- 
nevolences of the church and urges the reader to give 
them moral and material support. It prints the appeals 
of the denominational secretaries, and frequently indicates 
ways and means for rousing the people to more generous 
contributions. A familiar example of this phase of re- 
ligious journalism was seen in the last Chinese famine. 
Then the religious press of the English-speaking world, — 
for it is where English is spoken that the religious press 
is most tiourishing. — wrote up the situation of the siifliering 
thousands, and gave pictorial representations of households 
in all stages of destitution and starvation, and offered their 
services free of charge for the forwarding of gifts and 
supplies for the alleviation of a nation's wretchedness. 
Similarly, in a recent wave of temperance reform that has 
been sweeping state after state in the Southland, it was 
the co-operation of the religious press, with the pulpit and 
the secular press that brought to home after home a serious 
conviction of the evil of the open saloon, and enlisted 
preacher, and deacon, and business man, and laboring man, 
and mothers, and sisters, and daughters to declare that 
the saloon must go. 

Please to observe that I am not claiming that the relig- 
ious press accomplished it all, but I do contend that it was 
a prominent factor in the contest, and that in default of 
its aid, the work would have been far less effective and 

Further, we are not to lose sight of the fact that the 
educational influence of religious journalism is the strong- 


er, from the methods it pursues, and which in their pres- 
ent perfection it was long time in working out. 

The religious press has educational influence all the 
greater because it has borrowed from the secular press the 
art of making itself attractive. In form, in dress, by which 
we mean the style of type which is artistic and satisfying 
to the eye, in lavish use of the pictorial illustration. It is 
making all the time a silent appeal to be read. I take up 
the first issue of the Herald of Gospel Liberty, and I 
find it a creditable piece of workmanship for that period. 
Its type was readable, its page was well proportioned, .and 
its general makeup, as compared with contemporary secular 
Issues, quite up to the mark. But the Herald of Gospel 
Liberty of to-day is larger of course, and it has better 
type, and it enjoys the benefit of present day methods of Il- 
lustrative display. As they lie side by side on your table 
with the secular papers and magazines of the time, the 
religious journals of 1908 invite perusal with promise that 
the reader's time will not be spent in vain. 

The religious journal has educational influence from the 
fact that it has learned to treat interesting things inter- 
estingly. Carlyle used to maintain that the average Ger- 
man historian, whom he nicknamed Dr. Dry-as-Dust, was the 
dryest sort of writer on the face of the earth. A great deal 
of religious writing has been framed on that model. But 
our best religious jtapers cannot be accused of that fault. 
They choose fi'esh topics, they handle them interestingly 
and they polish them with that literary touch which 
pleases any class of mind. They cover all departments of 
religious life. They give you a Sunday-school department 
for the children, and an Endeavor department for the young 
people, all kinds of departments for the general church 
work, and the general pages for everybody. IMeeting thus 
all sorts of mind, with material that is fitted for each and 
all. they are touching the people far more than we common- 
ly take account of. 

In this review we are also not to lose sight of the 
popular tone that the religious press has adopted. In all 
its presentations, news, narratives, editorial discussions or 


beneficiary appeals, it comes down to the vernacular, and 
employs terms that are current to-day. Teachers have a 
maxim that they must teach at the level of the pupil's 
Intelligence. The wise teacher has to be in advance of his 
student, for if he lags, the pupil loses ground ; but he must 
be not too far afield, else the pupil is lost and is at 
standstill. I have known some preachers to fly so high 
above the heads of the people as to miss them altogether ; 
;uul other preaching that was too trivial, explaining labo- 
riously what the people knew well euough already. .Jour- 
nalism might show the like error. 

We have special publications that are intended for special 
classes of readers, and they are about as intelligible to 
the average man as so much Greek, or Choctaw. On my 
desk I have regularly the Medico-Legal Journal. Lawyers 
can read it. Physicians can read it. College men can read 
it. But to the general public a clay tablet from Nineveh 
would convey just about as much information. On my 
desk is another publication, a popular magazine, and in it 
a distinguished divine explains the course of copying, to 
which the Bible has been subjected since the fourth cen- 
tury. In the space of ten lines he uses terms like these : 
"Gone the way of all papyri ;" "gone the way of all flesh ;" 
"heir of all those ages ;" "the Hebi-ew amanuensis." The 
passage was brilliant, and the content was perfectly intel- 
ligible to those for whom it was intelligible. But what 
will the general public make out of it? Now it is to the 
advantage of the religious press that when it sets out to 
talk to the people, it uses the language of the people. It 
speaks directly to the home, cutting out pomposity on the 
one hand and frivolity on the other, and so the people read, 
understand and are instructed. 

A further advantage of the religious press in its aim 
of education, is that of periodicity. Whatever it sets out 
to impress it can present to-day, next week, and the next 
week again — not by any means in the same form, for 
that would make it flat, stale and unprofitable, — but first in 
one light and then in another, until it is made the reader's 
own possession. Long ago the evangelical prophet set 


forth that fundamental maxim of pedagogy : "precept must 
be upon precept, precept upon precept ; line upon line, line up- 
on line ; here a little and there a little." So modern educa- 
tors are insisting on the same principle when they declare 
the importance of graving on the material substance of the 
brain, until the picture becomes so distinct and permanent 
that no subsequent experiences, however striking, can wash 
it away. It is thus that the religious journal travels on 
its spiritual mission week after week, bearing its messages 
to the people. It has a place that cannot be taken by any 
other agency. Count up your educational forces, your pul- 
pits, your Bible schools, your secular schools from the low- 
est to the highest, your daily press to which I have al- 
ready accorded a high place in popular training, but ever 
leave large room for the religious press, for which I claim 
nothing less than its due, when I call it the university for 
the people. In its columns are instruction and stimulus 
for every mind. The child who attends the school, and the 
adult, whose school-days are all over, scans its pages and 
learns continually new lessons of fact, of philosophy, of 
progress, from its every issue. 

Tell me that the religious press is stupid, and that sub- 
scribers have to be cudgelled into its support. In general, 
such allegation has no foundation. There ai"e dull relig- 
ious papers, precisely as there are some prosy preachers, 
and some moss-backed lawyers, and some stupid teachers ; 
but exactly as the mass of preachers, lawyers and teachers 
are wide-awake and live to the present age, so I may say 
for the mass of religious papers that they are attractive 
and influential. I can name you religious papers by the 
dozen that are welcomed in the household ; that are read 
by fathers, mothers and children, and read even more in- 
tently than the daily newspaper. I know such religious 
papers about which there is a friendly rivalry in the family, 
:is to who shall get the lirst reading: whicli arc no sooner 
let fall by one than they are picked up by another, and 
read diligently from the first page to the last. 

A journal that so captures the people is a living force, 
and its power to mold thought and life is incalculable. 


Subject, if you please, what I am saying to a few sim- 
ple tests. 

Where will you find the best understanding of, and the 
most appreciative reception of, religious instruction? Will 
it not be from fatherhood, motherhood and childhood, from 
homes where the competent religious journal is taken and 
read most faithfully? 

When you attempt to secure contributions for missionary 
or other benevolent purposes, will you not get the most rel- 
atively, that is, in proportion to the means of the givers, 
from the homes that support the religious journal, and which 
consequently, are the best informed as to the needs of the 
cause you represent? 

Who contributes most freely and heartily for the home 
church? Is it not the family that stands by the church 
paper, and that has been taught the joy of regular and sys- 
tematic giving? 

And so it is the wise man. be he pastor, church official, or 
merely a well-wisher of his kind, who is strong in his advo- 
cacy of his church paper, who assists it to enter the homes 
of the people in his circle of friendship, and who exerts 
all proper influence for the wider circulation and improve- 
ment of his own religious paper. 





Tliis note of liberty was soniided in tlie Jewish cominon- 
wealtl], on the year of .iubilee, fifteen hundred years before 
Christ: "Proclaim Wberty throughout aU the land unto aU 
the inhabitants thereof." Lev. 25 : 10. Eight hundred years 
thereafter Isaiah repeated this principle : "The Lord hath 
sent me to proclaim liberty to the captive, and opening of 
the prison to them that are bound."' Isa. Gl : 1. Jesus 
indorsed this message seven hundred years later when He 
quoted it and said : "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in 
your eai's." Tjuke 4:21. and added. "Ye shall know the 
truth, and the truth shall make you free: and if the Son 
shall make you free ye shall be free indeed." John 8: 32, 36. 

A Roman jurist said. "By natural right all men are 
born free." The Declaration of Independence says : "We 
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created 
equal : that they are endowed by their Creator with certain 
muilienable rights ; that among these are life, lilyerty, and 
the pursuit of happiness. And Article XIII of the Consti- 
stitution declares that "Neither slavery nor involuntary 
servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the 
party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within 
the United States, or any place sub.iect to their jurisdic- 
tion." Religious Liberty, therefore, rests on natural right. 
Scriptural authority, and the law of states. 1. The right 
to be free is inherent, for God hath made man upright ; 
but they have sought out many inventions. Ecc. 7 : 29 : God 
put man in chai'ge of Eden and said : "Dress it and keep 
it." He gave him "dominion" over all the earth. And 

* Delivered on Wednesday evening, September IGth, in the 
North Congregational church. Dr. Staley Is pastor of the Chris- 
tian church at Suffolk, Va. 


when Jesus founded His kingdom He entrusted it to 
man and tluis recognized bis riglit and capacity to be free. 
Tbis inberent rigbt bas burned winm tbe altar of buman 
consciousness from tlie Ijeginning. and its fires will never 
go out till all nations and all races are at liberty. Like 
])ure water under tbe \Yeiglit of tbe mountain it will work 
its way out to bless bumanity. It is tbe germ of emanci- 
pation, for man is not yet free. 2. Tbis princii)le is 
universal in its application. AU men are sovereigns; and 
all men may be kings and priests unto God. Only nations 
wbere tbe loircst may l»e<-ome tbe hinlirst are free. Liberty 
was unknown till Cbristianity began tbe struggle of many 
centuries witb tbose worst of buman evils — slavery and 
serfdom : and some of tlie fairest nations liave been kept 
out of tbe marcb of buman progress by Mobammedan and 
otber false religions. Tbe rigbt to be free is tbe birtbrigb*^ 
of all nations: but amendments to Constitutions cannot 
set men at lilierty : civil freedom may leave men in moral 
(•bains a tbousand times worse tban civil bondage. 3. 
Tbi.s principle introduces a moral force tbat brings order 
out of disorder: unity oiit of complexity. The rule of one 
iiian or o»e idea is tyranny : but wben millions of men tbink. 
s])eal'C. and act. witbout buman restraint, tbe world enjoys 
liberty. Gomplexity generates \niity. wlaen it obeys law. 
Tbe industrial activities of tbis age are more complex, 
yet more unified, tban in any age. It is tbe working to- 
gether of a tliousand intelligent forces tbat unifies all. 
Wbat makes tbe vast universe of harmony is obedience to 
gravity: and tbat which will make tbe race one and free 
is love. 

Europe bad been subject to the Roman Cbiircb from 
the fourth century, and in tbe tenth century she assumed 
to 'iord it over men's consciences.'" But wben several 
states of Europe renounced the power of the Pope, at the 
Reformation. Protestant kings and governments assumed 
authority in religion. Civil states claimed tbe rigbt to rule tbe 
church, its creed, ministry, offices, ordinances, and hence 
tbe "stafc cliurcJi." Up to this time either tbe church con- 
trolled tbe state, or the state, tbe church. Tbe struggle 


for separatiou \A'a& a struggle for religious liberty. Modern 
Europe emerges from the dark ages in a fight for separation. 
Christian civilization rests on this principle which is 
worlving out human freedom. It is a slow process, but 
it must finally win a great victory. 

Guizot declares that the Crusades were the first European 
event ; that never before had Europe been moved by the 
same sentiment ; that not till then did Europe exist. This 
was a large factor in the emancipation of Europe. Rome 
had little comnmnication with the people and remote states 
previous to the Crusades. The Crusaders stopped in Rome, 
saw her manners', policies, personal interest in religious 
disputes, and discovered her spirit. Besides this, they 
probably brought to Europe from the East the compass, 
gunpowder, printing, and new ideas that broke up old 
conditions, emancipated the human intellect, created new 
states, made a wider outlook, and planted the seeds of 
liberty. The lamp of science and literature kept burning 
during the dark ages in the monk's cell ; but this move- 
ment had changed the thought and desires of a continent. 
What the people had felt became a conscious passion, the 
determination to enjoy and improve what God had provided 
for man in creation and the gospel. The lamp in the cell 
gave place to the sun in the heavens. Knowledge passed 
from the few to the many, and that meant progress in 
lil)erty. When Christianity entered Rome it was a nation 
of slaves. A proposition in the Senate to designate slaves 
by dress was rejected lest the slaves might outnumber the 
freemen. The torture of slaves was the sport of masters 
and guests ; and not till Christianity tempered justice did 
slaves have recourse to Roman courts of law. The light' 
of Christianity opened the eyes of mankind and, step by 
step, slavery yielded to freedom. Another fruit of ve- 
ligions influence on Ifoman law was that in the marriage 
of a free man to a serf woman the children followed the 
free parent ; and the same was true under Anglo-Saxon law. 
The great emancipator of the world is Jesus Christ. 
Throughout European and English history, serfdom and 
slavery gradually yield to liberty and love. This same 


spirit put an end to "private war" in Germany and pre- 
pared the way for peace. Some one has said: "that all 
human power bears within itself a natural vice, a principle 
of feebleness and abuse which renders it necessary that 
it should be limited." But all divine power bears within 
itself the spirit of nobility and liberty. 

Religion is the dominant force in all nations and ages. 
In Egypt it built its monuments along the Nile ; in Greece 
it created the fine arts ; in Rome it erected its temple of 
power ; in Palestine it wrote its book. The religion of a 
nation determines its capacity to be free ; religious liberty 
is, therefore, primary and fundamental, for no other re- 
ligion has given liberty to mankind. The Mohammedan 
can never be free because his religion yokes him to tyranny, 
polygamy, and war. Modern nations can be estimated by 
their worship; and freedom in worship includes all freedom. 

The Reformation was a great step in religious liberty, and 
the building of St. Peters furthered this movement. The 
sale of indulgences prepared the people to receive the new 
teaching. When Tetzel was selling indulgences in Wit- 
tenberg, a man bought the privilege to chastise a man 
against whom he had a grudge — that man was Tetzel him- 
self whose appeal to the magistrate was refused. 

When Luther aroused Europe by his doctrines of justifi- 
cation by faith r the use and authority of the Scriptures : 
and the right of private judgment in their interpretation ; 
the chains began to fall from those that were bound. This 
movement took different forms under different leaders in 
different countries, but it was one bold stroke for liberty, 
and four centuries of progress justify the fierce battle more 
decisive than Marathon, Waterloo, oi- Gettysburg. Since 
that victory the world has seen only fragments of human 
creeds and ecclesiastical tyranny. The world is not 
free yet ; but it is freer than when .Jesus died on 
Calvary, and freer than when Luther dared all for Christ. 
"The root of all religion is the passion to be free," and 
to become like Jesus Christ is to enjoy liberty. The Ref- 
ormation brought men nearer to God and set in motion 
intellectual and moral forces that convulsed Europe ; then 


crossed the AtlaBtic and kindled an unquenchable fire in 
the western world. But in the wake of this daring for 
liberty came persecution, torture, and death. "Men have 
always enjoyed liberty of conscience ; but the liberty of 
speech and act brought the thumbscrew, the rack and 
windingsheet of flame." But the Reformation emancipated 
the human mind and laid the foundation of religious liberty 
on the Rock of Ages ; and now millions of Protestants wor- 
ship God without human restraint. In Italy and Spain, 
where the Reformation did not take root, little progress 
has been made in liberty, liberal ideas or liberal laws. 

The Inquisition played an important part in the religious 
history of the sixteenth century and by excesses reacted 
in favor of the Reformation and religious liberty. From the 
day when Luther publicly burnt at Wittenberg the bull of 
Leo X., containing his condemnation, 1520, and formally 
separated himself from the Romish Church, to the treaty 
of Westphalia, 1648, there were two classes of states in 
Europe, Catholic and Protestant, and these were arrayed 
against each other in bitter hostility. But from this treaty 
Catholics and Protestants reciprocally acknowledged each 
other, and states were not classified by religion, but by their 
external policy and relations. The cruelties inflicted by 
the inquisition strengthened rather than weakened the new 
faith, and every new invention of torture quickened and 
intensifled the struggle for liberty. 

But in spite of the eternal hunger of the human soul 
for liberty, the church in some form, barred the way of 
progress for centuries, even in England. None but profes- 
sors of the established church were eligible to public em- 
ployment, even after the Reformation. Severe penalties 
against Catholics and non-conformists alike were continued. 
Under Charles II, 1349-87, only those receiving the com- 
munion of the established church were eligible to oSice. 
Religious tests for admission to English universities re- 
mained down to 1871 ; and there is no treatment of religious 
liberty in the Britannica. It is in its infancy still in that 
great nation. 


All longings, struggles, and progress in religious liberty 
converge and flower in these United States. It is a princi- 
ple In this country that what is religious is necessarily 
beyond governmental control. Religious liberty here is 
absolute, an inherent right of the soul. All denominations 
are equal and free in the eye of the law. Within the 
limits of public peace full liberty of thought, speech, and 
act is granted by the Constitution. "No religious test shall 
ever be required as a qualification to any office or public 
trust under the United States. Congress shall make no 
law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting 
the free exercise thereof." Absolute religious liberty is the 
contribution of the United States to the world. Even the 
Roman Catholic colony of Maryland passed the "toleration 
act" in 1649, giving liberty of conscience to all accepting 
the cardinal doctrines of Christianity. Religious tolerance 
was incorporated in the charter of 1832, before Rhode 
Island which was long credited with being the first state 
in the world to incorporate in its organic law and to 
practice religious liberty. Roger Williams contended, how- 
ever, that the state leave all men — Catholic, Jew, Protestant 
— absolutely free ; and the state of Rhode Island became 
the cradle of religious liberty. A noted English divine 

Toler.ition will make the kingdom a chaos, is a grand work 
of the devil, is a most transcendental, Catholic, and fundamental 
evil : 

and the sainted Rutherford wrote: 

We regard the tolevation of all religions as not far removed 
from blasphemy. 

But Milton, Cromwell and Sir Henrj' Lane stood boldly 
for toleration. When Roger Williams stepped from the 
brave ship, "Lyon," he brought soul-liberty to this hemis- 
phere and to this infant nation. .John Fiske says : 

That Williams was the first to conceive thoroughly, and carry 
out consistently, in the face of strong opposition, a theory of 
religious liberty broad enough to win the assent and approval 
of advanced thinkers of the present day. 

Wm. Penn was another of these great men who founded 

a state on this principle and inspired mankind with the 

realitv of brotherhood. Under the universal idea of re- 


ligious liberty, people of every land and creed in Europe 
flocked to Pennsylvania and crowded the banks of the 
Delaware with a prosperous and happy community ; and 
that spirit has leavened this nation. The statue of Penn 
crowns the great City Hall in Philadelphia, and rises higher 
than any other statue above the earth, and fittingly sig- 
nifies that no other statesman has reached him or equalled 
him. There his statue stands as a mute witness to the 
progress of religious liberty. 

Besides these men of God, who planted the good seed of 
religious liberty in fertile virgin soil, two. great institutions 
perpetuate and spread the doctrines and benefits of this 
heaven-born truth. The public free school is one great 
teacher and advocate of liberty and, in-so-far as teachers 
are Christian, religious liberty is engraved upon the heart 
and burned into the conscience of American youth ; and 
this means that some time it will reach all nations, for 
the "stars and stripes" will follow the "banner of the 
cross" to the end of the world. This army of teachers, 
plus the ai'my of Sunday-school teachers, is mightier than 
the standing armies of Europe for it is the army of light 
and liberty. As the revival of learning broke the spell of 
the "dark ages," so the principle of religious liberty, radiat- 
ing from the school houses of America, will enlighten the 
wor-ld and help to set it free. 

Again the religious press, whose beginning this occasion 
celebrates, in its hundredth year, is the advocate and dis- 
tributor of this fundamental idea. The great things of 
this age are so vast that they encircle the globe. The 
wires of communication girdle the world. We speed across 
continents like birds in their flight. We fly across the 
ocean in luxury that outrivals the palaces of oriental 
princes. We read to-day what transpired in London yester- 
day. Our table is supplied by two hemispheres. Paris and 
St. Petersburg are nearer to us than Washington was to 
Jefferson when he wrote the "Declaration of Independence." 
What modern discovery and invention have done for the 
world, the religious press has done for religious liberty. 
The real liberty of the English press dates from the Fox 


Libel Act in 1792, the very year that James O'Kelly initiated 
the movement that ultimated in the Christian Church. 
The religious press is the mightiest force in the progress of 
religious liberty. It has opened the eyes of mankind; un- 
stopped the deaf ears of the ages ; flooded the realms 
of darkness with light ; unfettered conscience and emanci- 
pated the mind ; imparted moral principle to the secular 
press, politics, and American citizenship. Its work in the 
field of temperance, social refoi-m, and denominational fra- 
ternity has been commensurate with the age. Church 
Federation would be unknown without its help. Its silent 
and wholesome messages touch humanity like sunshine and 
rain. Its line is gone out through all the earth, its words 
to the end of the world. And the "religious newspaper" 
which has wrought such wonders, is the contribution of 
the Christian Church to the "world;" and it was the seed 
of a tree under whose widespreading branches millions have 
found help. 

Signs of progress are now seen in the east. The Sultan 
of Turkey has now and then admitted Christian men to 
his councils, as Swartz in India, and Yerbeck in Japan, and 
has found them wise and impartial ; and, if he really 
means to grant a constitutional government to his mil- 
lions of subjects, it means great advance in civil and re- 
ligious liberty ; for the youiig Turks are liberal in the 

Russia, with a population of a hundred and fifty million 

souls, has been under the dominion of the Greek Catholic 

Church and it is stated upon good authority that probably 

less than seven millions constitute enlightened Russia. There 

are less than six million students in all the schools of tht 

empire. The rate of illiteracy is 13 to 100. But on Easter 

Day, 1908, Czar Nicholas issued an edict of reform in these 

words : 

We ordain that the falling away from the orthodox faith to any 
Christian confession of faith shall not give ground for any perse- 
cution, and shall not work disastrous consequences to the personal 
or civic rights of such a person . . . "We order that wherever in- 
struction is given in the religion of the non-orthodox Christian 
confessions, the same shall be given in the mother-tongue of the 
scholars." "Any sect numbering fifty persons, whose aims are not 


immoral, or having tenets lilie refusal to do military service, can 
apply for and shall receive permission to organize churches, con- 
duct services, build schools and elect clergy, who shall be exempt 
from military service, and be entitled to wear vestments and per- 
form baptism, marriage, and other sacraments." 

Out of these have come new movements to spread evangel- 
ical truth in a Christian non-coufessioual spirit. Thus it 
is seen that religious liberty is creeping into all the nations 
and is destined to cover the earth as the waters cover the 

But we are not to the end of religious liberty. We dare 
not claim that religious bodies, large and small, stand on 
equality yet in this country. Many barriers lie across 
the path of perfect religious liberty ; but Christendom feels 
that it is right, and riglit must ■prevail. Bigotry and pride 
selfishness and sin, must some day yield to this angel of 
freedom and this magnet of love ; and this nation must first 
realize this great boon and then teach it to the toorld. 
All liberty is rooted in religious liberty ; and no man can 
he his best nor do his best till he is free. Great progress- 
has been made, but as the Lord said to Joshua of the 
promised land, "There remaineth yet very much laud to 
be possessed." 

Our forefathers wrought in the face of famine and cold, 
wild Indians and the fierce bigots of the church, and laid 
the foundation deep in the truth and we should work for 
its consummation among men. They planted the cross first 
on bleak Cape Henry's shore and then — 

On .Jamestown Isle they did new altars raise. 

Crude at the first, but with high purpose bent, 
And there again with heartsome hymns of praise. 

They worshipped Thee. O God, with one consent. 
So thus 'tis seen, it needs not to lie proved. 

That in this glorious land, where they were free. 
Their first thought was of Him, Whom well they loved, 

Their glory was "Religious liberty." 

Where Thursday Forenoon Session was held. 




It is my privilege this morning to speak for Zioii's Herald, 
a unique figure in Methodist journalism, and, because of 
its long career as a fashioner of opinion and as an in- 
strument of reform, worthy of a place among the notable 
periodicals of the church, celebrated here. 

In its organic relation our Herald stands apart from 
the other great journals of Methodism. They belong to 
the system ; Zion's Herald is unofficial, and the editor 
therefore is independent. Rugged independence is stamped 
upon its whole history. Whenever restricted coercion 
has been attempted, the editor has been able to reply with 
a sturdy disregard shown by Amos, that journalist of old, 
who when commanded, "Flee thee away into the land of 
Judah, and there eat bread and pro])hesy there." replied, "I 
am neither an official journalist nor of the school of official 
journalists. The Lord took me as I followed the flock, and 
llie Lord said unto me, Oo, prophesy unto My people Israel." 

While officially unrestricted, and combining the sturdiness 
of ancient prophet with the rugged independence of modern 
puritan, the Herald through almost a century has been con- 
sistently loyal to Wesleyan teachings. So that, while our 
denomination of more than three million communicants may 
properly boast of a number of great newspapers, Zion's 
Herald, dominated by conviction only and influenced by 
New England ideals, stands not among New Englanders 
alone, but among a much wider constituency as the highest 
interpreter of Methodist doctrines and life. 

Although independent, Zion's Herald is not without an 
organic foundation both sane and stable and well within 
our denomination. In order to represent the paper we 

* Delivered on Thursday morning, September ITtli, in tlie 
Universalist church. Mr. Northrup represented ^letliodist .Tournal- 
ism in New England, speaking directly for Zion's Herald, of Bos- 
ton, Mass. 



must emphasize the Boston Wesleyan Association, by whom 
the editoi* is chosen and under whose direction the journal 
is published. We have here a body instituted in 1831, 
and incorporated since 1854, of twenty New England Meth- 
odist laymen, men of business standing and true New Eng- 
land culture, and also believing tremendously in the mis- 
sion of Methodism to New England. 

While each of our six patronizing conferences sends, 
yearly, representatives, both lay and ministerial, to the an- 
nual meetings of the Association, who through suggestive 
criticisms aid much, still the burden of management ulti- 
mately rests upon this body alone. The splendid success of 
the Herald, therefore, must be attributed largely to the 
discernment and moral steadfastness of the members of 
this Association, and to the unreserved devotion with which 
they have given their services from the beginning, absolute- 
ly without compensation. 

The achievements of the Association incidental to the pub- 
lication of the Herald are noteworthy. In 1869 the Associ- 
ation purchased property on Bromfleld Street, and in 1870 
erected in the very heart of Boston, a five-story building 
occupying ten thousand feet of land, assessed to-day at 
$600,000, affording not only a permanent and suitable home 
for the Herald publishing plant, not merely ofiices and 
rooms for denominational interests, including a spacious 
hall, free for the Monday Boston Preachers' meeting, but, 
what has been of vital importance denominationally, pro- 
viding a rallying place in Boston for the Methodism of 
New England, so that, through the publishers of this paper, 
Methodism, although the youngest of the larger denomina- 
tions in Boston, was the first to provide there a building 
for general denominational purposes. 

Of yet keener interest is the fact that all the financial 
profits are devoted by the Association to the support of the 
worn out preachers of the six conferences in New England, 
their wives, widows and orphans. While to those who 
are familiar with the financial difficulties involved in the 
publication of a religious newspaper, it is not to the dis- 
credit of the great official Advocates of our denomination 


that their establishment has cost our church some two 
hundred thousand dollars, still we do record a remarkable 
achievement when we state that the publication of Zion's 
Herald has never cost Methodism a dollar, and that within 
the time of the present editorial administration alone, the 
publishers have paid over to the Methodist veterans of the 
cross in New England, at least fifty thousand dollars. 

But the matters of financial profits and their distribu- 
tion are incidents merely of the administration. The one 
great purpose of the Association is the publication of the 
Herald. What should be the mission of such a paper? 
There is an exceedingly cramped notion of a religious news- 
paper which supposes its mission to be the delivery of a 
dogmatic religious exhortation. Such journals we have had, 
packed with biblical quotations, red-hot with fanatical 
zeal, marked by amazing omissions and distortions of 
facts, appealing mightily to a few of narrowed soul, but, 
withal, prolific sources of skepticism. Such "journalism" is 
a libel, not only upon religion, but upon the newspaper 

The religious journal must be a newspaper, alert and com- 
prehensive. Wherever intellectual interests are aroused, and 
wherever history is being made, the editor must be imme- 
diately on the field. One omission, or one belated notice 
of an important event may be tolerated ; but a repetition 
of the offense puts the paper out of the race. 

But the editor of the religious newspaper is something in- 
comparably more than a newsmonger. He is a man of 
prophetic utterance. Herein is to be found the charter of relig- 
ious journalism. The present public need here is something 
appalling. The average reader, buried in the enormous 
daily with its jungle of confused and confusing events, is 
hopelessly bewildered and even stultified. The cry has 
gone forth for a Daniel in the newspaper world, who can 
"make interpretations and dissolve doubts." 

The daily press, great as it is, consists in the main of 
newsmongers, content to thrust events upon us ; there are 
among them only a few men under whose hands events 
become illustrative and purposive. As a high example of 


the secular joiinialist towering incomparably above the 
newsmonger, is the career of the late Mr. Godkin of the 
Nation, who for more than thirty years shaped the political 
opinions of leading statesmen in America. The religious 
journalist is not merely to repeat the catechism, but is to 
grow in his readers a living catechism, to train them into the 
habit of reading in events, God and the cardinal truths of 

Not only must past and present be correctly interpreted, 
but by means of stern logic coupled with prophetic intuition 
this man must see and portray, in bold and accurate out- 
lines, the events that are to be. 

With such a conception of the prophetic mission of the 
paper, its importance and power become greatly mngnifled, 
so that we are in accord with the Methodist bishop, who 
said : "If the apostle Paul were on earth to-day, he would 
be the editor of a newspaper." 

To claim that Zioii's Herald has perfectly and uniform- 
ly attained to this ideal would assume too much, but we 
are within the bounds of the simple truth when we say 
that the editor and management have always been aware of 
its prophetic mission. At times the paper has conspicuous- 
ly demonstrated this fact, and through its long career it 
certainly has approached the goal as closely as any other 
journal in the field. 

Zion'-t Herald is the oldest Methodist newspaper in the 
world. To this fact we attach only incidental value. Sen- 
ility nodding at the fireside and driveling over an empty 
past merits no honor. Our main contention, therefore, is 
for the virility of this paper rather than any antecedence 
in date of origin. Still, there is this to be said, that Zion's 
Herald was in the field to fight some of the hottest battles 
for religious liberty long before many of the younger jour- 
nals of our denomination were born. 

The first Methodist paper published was the Wceklij His- 
tory, a paper started in 1740 in connection with the White- 
field Calvinistic movement. As e.-ii-ly as 1S1.1 the Xcir 
England Missionary Magazine was begun at Concord, N. 11.. 
but not until 1823 was there published anywhere in tlie 


world a Methodist newspaper destined to survive until the 
present. Tliis paper was the Zion's Herald, the first issue 
of which appeared January 9, 1823. While the Herald's 
claim to priority of origin over all other Methodist news- 
papers has been disputed on the ground that for four years 
(1827-1831) the paper was published in New York in con- 
nection with the Christian Advocate and Journal as the 
Christian Advocate and Journal and Zion's Herald, the 
disputant is reasonably silenced by the simple fact that 
the Herald office is in possession of a continuous file of the 
paper, one week excepted, from January 9, 1823, until now. 
This file I have seen and examined. 

In the first issue of the Herald I observed, at the head 
of a brief sermon this text, "The Lord thy God reigneth." 
This text providentially is set at the head of the paper as 
the text for its preachment of nearly a century. 

Contrasting the conditions existing in 1823 with those of 
the present, we are startled at the revelation of achieve- 
ments wrought. At that time, there was neither civil nor 
religious liberty for white or black. For ten years after 
the establishment of the Herald, Massachusetts had her 
State church. Dissenters were barely tolerated, often in- 
sulted and even attacked. The doctrine of "Free Grace" 
was counted a heresy black and damnable. Not only was 
the black man in chains, not only did bishops reckon him 
among their chattels, but by a theological dogma, exceeding- 
ly popular, anathemas were prepared for any who should 
hint that the negro ought to be emancipated. 

At this time the national spirit had not yet been devel- 
oped, and everywhere bitter sectional jealousies prevailed. 
The great questions of temperance and of the equal rights 
of woman lay slumbering in a public conscience not yet 
awakened. And in this jubilee season, in the very proper 
exultation over the wonderful theological, social and polit- 
ical transformation here in New England, we are to remem- 
ber that in every great battle waged since its inception. 
Zion's Herald has always been conspicuous in the fight, 
and always on the side of humanity, liberty and righteous- 


ness. A glance at particular instances in the reform 
movement of the past century will vindicate the claim. 

Zion's Herald as an exponent of the Methodist doctrines 
of "Free Grace" has aided in the transformation of New 
England theology. The theology of the orthodox churches 
has become Methodistic. John Wesley and not John Calvin 
prevails. You will remember how less than a century ago, 
the orthodox Christianity here In New England, held that 
the saved were saved because God willed it, that the lost 
remained impenitent, and would be lost because God willed 
it. To assent to such horrible doctrines, stultifying the 
human conscience, and impeaching divine goodness meant 
theological respectability. But to maintain as the Method- 
ists did, that God desired all men to be saved, was to be a 
pronounced religious and social pariah. 

Methodism is not to be held responsible for all the theol- 
ogies to be discovered in New England. For ultra Unita- 
rian views, the horrible theological dogmas of that day are 
responsible. As the frenzied occupants often rush half- 
naked from the burning dwelling, only to be frozen in the 
winter's cold, so, many have rushed from rigid Calvinism 
into a denial of the essentials of Christianity. But there 
is in New England to-day a normal theology, not a theol- 
ogy of reaction, wherein the child of God is clothed and 
sheltered, a theology in which more and more there is a 
practical unanimity among the denominations. One cannot 
read the consistent reiterations of the Herald and note the 
increase of Methodist communicants, together with this 
transformation in theology, without conceding the Herald 
some part in the victory. Then too, Zion's Herald has been 
the exponent of a doctrine once derided, but now coming 
into almost universal acceptance, that of a "knowable relig- 
ion," the religion of experience. 

In the advocacy of social and political reform Zion's 
Herald has been a notable figure. In the anti-slavery ag- 
itation the Herald assumed a position often then of unen- 
viable unpopularity, which now constitutes a most enviable 
record. The history of the abolition movement in this coun- 
try cannot be properly recorded without including at least 


one notable issue of the paper. The issue of October 28, 
1835, belongs properly as an integral part of a most im- 
portant chapter in the history of the nation. From 1830 
to 1850, Boston, although originally the hot-bed of freedom, 
was ruled by slavery. Thursday, October 21, 1835, a mob 
composed of "gentlemen of standing" incited by the sec- 
ular press, made the notorious, dastardly attempt upon the 
person and life of Mr. Garrison. The entire secular press 
of Boston were with the mob in these atrocious proceedings 
against the leaders of the abolition movement. The relig- 
ious press also, with two notable exceptions, gave their 
sympathy to the mob. The Christian Standard, now extinct, 
and Zion's Herald alone of the papers in Boston spoke fear- 
lessly in denunciation of the outrage. The scathing censure 
visited by the editor of the Herald that day upon the secu- 
lar press, upon the mob and their sympathizers does one's 
heart good. I am sure that neither Amos nor Ezekiel could 
have spoken better. Through a greater part of the anti- 
slavery agitation which later waxed hot in the church, 
Zion's Herald, withstanding the advice of certain bishops 
and the pressure of general conference, opened its columns 
freely to a discussion of the issue. Dr. Abel Stevens says: 
"It was the only church paper really open to abolitionists 
during the long anti-slavery struggle." 

The advanced position taken by the Herald in the re- 
forms of church polity within the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, such as equal lay representation and the admission 
of women into the general conference, were of inestimable 
value to the movements indicated, and give weight to our 
assertion as to the high leadership maintained by this paper 
within the denomination. 

From the time of its first issue when abstinence from al- 
coholic beverages was derided, and the prohibition of their 
sale scarcely thought of, until in this day prohibition seems 
surely coming as an earnest of the millennial dawn, Zion's 
Herald has steadily, widely and with unwavering earnest- 
ness advocated total abstinence and prohibition. 

Zion's Herald has shown itself keenly alive also to the 
social movements of our day, and has encouraged the church 


to exert a more sensitive sympathy and to seek to acquire 
a more intelligent grasi) of the actual needs of working- 

The Herald is not unworthy of the eulogy spoken by Ex- 
Governor Claflin, of Massachusetts, who said : 

I want a paper true to the genius of New England Methodism, 
independent, yet loyal, literary and yet spiritual, fully abreast 
and in touch with the social problems of the day. I have never 
seen greater devotion to duty than in the entire editorial corps 
of this paper. 

The list of editors includes sixteen names, among whom 
are to be found men of the brightest genius. To repeat 
the entire list is without profit; to properly review the in- 
dividual career of each is impossible; still even this outline 
sketch of the history of this journal would be incomplete 
without a glance at some of the great personalities in the 
editorial chair, who have made the paper. Among the 
greatest is Dr. Abel Stevens, the genius in pen portraiture, 
whose pen served both as camera and kinetoscope, who add- 
ed to the peculiar vividness of his editorials a delicious, 
scholarly and literary tlavcir: a bnru historian, the greatest 
in our church. 

Daniel Wise — an instance wiicn' names are really pro- 
lihetic, a man great in goodness, also an easy and felicitous 
writer, a leader among the old-school journalists. 

E. O. Haven, versatile, equally strong as a preacher, 
teacher, editor or president of a great university, yet be- 
cause of a certain coldness of disposition, wanting in his 
hold upon the popular heart. 

(Gilbert Haven stands as llie favorile .Methddist radical 
of New England. Although engrossed in a dozen reform 
movements, he is most widely known as the intense friend 
of the negro. While at times lacking in balance and com- 
prehensiveness, as an agitator he was without a peer. 
His biographer says of him : 

He went into the editorial chair consecrated and ordained to 
utter all the great convictions of his soul as to the vices and 
sins, the duties and needs of the church and nation. 

He was a radical on the question of slavery, caste, tem- 
perance, co-education, women's rights, equal representation 
of the laity in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in his 


zeal for the evangelical faith against the proud and dan- 
gerous liberalism of his day. He advocated Wesleyan doc- 
trines and the institutions peculiar to Methodism under 
high pressure. 

Loyalty to the truth does not permit me to omit the 
name of the present editor. Dr. Charles Parkhurst. Twenty 
years ago it became evident that the Herald was losing 
its grip upon the mind and convictions of its constituency. 
The publishers, therefore, resolved upon extreme measures. 
They found in New Hampshire, a young man almost un- 
known. of the technicalities of editorship. Thej 
told him not only to revive the Herald, but to bring it 
forward to meet the strenuous and exacting demands of 
a new journalistic age. This he has done. Under him, 
because of his heroic devotion, and that of his assistants, 
his superb power of editorial management, his comprehen- 
siveness and alertness, often amounting to anticipation, the 
Herald has become informational, virile, and creative of 
conviction, and we are not surprised to learn that within 
the past year the circulation has increased to the highest 
point within its history. 

Never have the difficulties in the way been more subtle 
and dangerous than within the past quarter of a century. 
The editor has been obliged to steer his ship between two 
rocks. On the one side is the Scylla of a dogmatic liter- 
alism, or hypei'-orthodoxy insisting upon literal biblical 
interpretation, clamoring against all thorough biblical in- 
vestigation and blocking the way of scientific progress. 
On the other side is the Charybidis of scientfic dogmatism, 
and Christless liberalism. The wisdom and tact required 
foi- leadership under such conditions need no elaboration 
here. With an independence that has exasperated both 
enemies and friends he has steered wisely and well. 

Zion's Herald, always fundamentally orthodox and evan- 
gelical, while not weakening in its mission of agitation, and 
losing nothing in the literary sense, with the ripening years 
of the editor becomes more and more rich in its spiritual 
emphasis and power. 




P.V KKV. Al-FUKD <;()()1>IX(^. 

I am not attempting to take the place of ^Ir. Batchelor 
Avho would have given you a very interesting and instruct- 
ive half-hour. I want simply to say a few words concerning 
Unitarian Journalism in order that that important branch 
of religions .iournalism in America may not go wliolly un- 
noticed at this conference. 

It was entirely natural for the founders of American 
Unitarianism to find in journalism one of the most effective 
means to the strengtliening and propagating of their re- 
ligious faith and opinions. They were largely men of marked 
literary ability, skilful reasoners and accomplished writ- 
ers, and they naturally sought to spread their theological 
views through the medium of public i)rint as well as of 
public speaking. As early as 1S18. ('banning. Lowell and 
Parkman jilaniicd a monthly magazine that should be lib- 
eral in its character biit not .sectarian or dogmatic. The 
first number of the Christian Dhciph'. as it was called, 
appeared, under the editorship of Rev. Noali Worcester, in 
May, ISlo. It was not a controversial publication but 
rather humanitarian, devoting mucli space to the temper- 
ance I'eform and to the condenmation of slavery and of 
war. In 1.S24 it passed into the hands of Rev. John G. 
Palfrey, the well-known historian, who changed its title to 
that of 'riic Clirislidii l-lninniicr. "(iriidnally it liecame 
the organ of the higher intellectual life of the Unitarians 
and gave ex]iression to their interest in literature, general 
ciUtnre and the iiliilantbi'oi)ies. as well as theological knowl- 
edge." (Cooke's "I'nitarianism in America"). The best 
scholars conducted it, the best writ<>rs contributed to it. 

* Delivf red ill tlio rniversalist church on Wednesday movnins. 
Seplemlier 171 h. .Mr. Coodins' is pastor of the I'nitMrian churcli 
in Porl snioutli. X. II. lU'V. (Jeorye P.atcheior. the editor of Tlie 

I'lirisI Ian I'li/istir. \v;is d"lainc(l liy illness. :ind Mr. (ioodins was 
ealliMl n]iMn In (icrii|iy llie lime in liehalf of "l 'nil a ri;in .Tournalism.'" 


For nearly fifty years it performed its important work un- 
der tlie editorship of such men as James Wallver, William 
Ware, Ezra S. Gannett, George Putnam and Edward Everett 
Hale. "Its final decease in 18G9 was a serious loss, not 
to the denomination alone, but to the cause of enlightened 

Contemporary with the Examiner, but as a more popular 
vehicle of religious thought, the Unitarian body has main- 
tained and still maintains the Christian Register. The first 
number of the Register appeared on April 20. 1821, and 
the paper has been issued every week since August 24th, 
of that year. Among its early contributors were : Kirk- 
land. Story, Edward Everett, Furness, Palfrey, Gannett, 
Bancroft. Sparks, Pierpont and Lowell. 

Cooke, in his "Unitarianism in America," says of the 
Register: "It has always been a well-conducted periodical, 
representing a wide range of interests, and admirably 
suited to interpret the temper and spirit of a rational re- 
ligion." It is our only periodical that has maintained an 
unbroken existence from the early days of Unitarianism in 
America. Many others have appeared; there is a long 
list of them : but the terms of their publication have been 
more or less brief. They have often represented local 
interests and needs. The Register. I suppose, may be 
called the organ of the American Unitarian Church. It 
publishes what is important for its readers to know — the 
affairs of the denomination, its doings and interests. It 
is ably edited, carefully printed, free from every sort of 
objectionable advertisement, and its contributors are men 
of ideas and of literary skill. As a religious journal, it suits 
me. I have read it faithfully for nearly thirty years. If other 
denominational organs are as good as the Register, I am 
sure that they must be to you, as that is to me, a source 
of inuiiense encouragement, instruction and inspiration. 





It is ours to give tlie greeting of the imblisliing inter- 
ests, Historical Society and tliose who cherisli the gener- 
ous faith of the Universalist Church. Our Church issued 
from the social life, theological controversy and teeming 
times following the war of the American Revolution. Our 
early believers, for the most part, came out of the Baji- 
tist Church. They were the friends, neighbors and of the 
same household of those who became Free Baptists and 

The words "liberty" and "freedom" were grafted from 
the vocabulary of the political world. The questions upper- 
most were concerning the "liberty of the spirit," "the 
authority of the Bible" and the character of God and man. 
The fragments of Protestantism nt the beginning of th ' 
nineteenth century presented a curious picture. The ques- 
tion of the destiny of the human race was not the most 
important one in the discussion. It was one, but not the 
entire issue or bone of contention. The times which made 
possible the founding and rapid growth of the Methodist 
Church, and the breaking up of the more .-incient Baptist 
organizations, made possible the beginnings of the Univer- 
salist order of believers. 

The earliest fairly regular pulilication of Universalist 
believers was TJic Bcrcdii. or Si-ripl iirc Scarclici'. in Bos- 
ton, 1802-1809. It was irregular in publication. It was 
succeeded in 1811 and 1812 by The Gospel Visitant, pub- 
lished by a group of ministers of whom Thomas .Tones of 
Gloucester. Mass., Ilosea Ballon, then of Portsmouth, N. 
II., iind Edward Turner of Salem. ^lass., were chief con- 

* Delivpreil on Tlinrsil.-iy nidriiiiii;' in tiic rnivrrs.-ilist cliiu'cli. 
Mr. Titus is connectcil witli llie I'nivcrsalisl IIisti)ric:il SocioHy 
nnrt liiraself ;ui editor. 


ti'ibutors and publishers. But this also was iiTegular and 
continued onlj^ two years. 

It was not, however, until July 1, 1S19, soon after the 
removal of Hosea Ballon to Boston, that The Vniversalist 
Magazine began its weekly i)ul)lication. and has weekly 
continued, under different names, in Boston until the 
present time. The Universalist Magazine antedates sev- 
eral other publications which have been prominently men- 
tioned. The constituency of the Universalist body was 
not behind in founding its religious journal. It has ever 
been its pride that it was a pioneer in intelligent discus- 
sion of the large questions concerning God, duty and man- 
kind. A month later, Aug. 1, 1819, The Christian Messen- 
ger was issued in Philadelphia ; in 1820 The Gospel Herald 
was established in New York City; in 1821 TJic Christian 
Repository was established in Woodstdck. Vt. ; in 1821 
'•3-7(6 Christian Intelligencer was founded in Portland, Me.; 
iu^T£,"T"fie Religious Imiiilnr iu Hartford. Conn.; in 182.''> 
^he Gospel Advocate in Buffalo, N. Y., and in 1827 The 
^tar in the West at Eaton, Ohio. 

There are several other and later journals of local 
character ; but combination became the habit, so that 
finally it resolved to The Trumpet and Freeman of Bos- 
ton, The Christian Amhassador of New York State, The 
Christian Repositonj o,f Vermont, The Gospel Banner of 
Maine, The Star of the West of Cincinnati, and The Xeir 
Covenant of Chicago. These journals wrought a noble 
service, and in the course of years, a further combination 
came looking to the larser welfare of the church, in 
The Vniversalist Leader of to-day. The earlier journals 
were private interests, and the combination of these private 
interests created the Universalist Publishing House of 
Boston. The Publishing House conserves the welfare and 
prosperity of the church at large. Their interests are 
mutual, though entirely separate from the corporate ex- 
istence of State or General Convention. 

The journals of the Universalist Church have, without 
exception, taken advanced grounds on the questions of 
anti-slavery, temperance, reforms in social living, up- 


Iniildiug of educational institntious and the nourisbiug of 
sources of moral culture. Our journals, in common with 
many another, have been aggressive in putting forth our 
doctrines and policies. The controversial spirit did not 
enter the columns of our journals until a number of years 
after their founding. Our opposers were willing to let 
us alone, and we attended to our own affairs ; but from 
the time of the great revival in 1827-18;!2 the spirit of 
controversy was forced upon us by the fierce and too fre- 
quently unjust accusations of revivalists. From this time 
forth until the Civil War, the controversial spirit was a 
leading factor, and this not only from our own 
love of controversy, but the love of controversy on the 
part of our opposers. The columns of every religious 
journal had the controversial habit, even to the neglect of 
the weightier matters of the law. 

The word "orthodox," strictly a New England word, 
was taken to themselves by those who called other people 
"heterodox." The word "evangelical" was assumed dur- 
ing the great revival by those who held every one else to 
1)6 "unevangelical." But these are growing to be with 
the years, relative terms. They do not mean much to-day. 
The word "liberal" has grown flat and stale, and confi- 
dent are we that these several words in time will become 
obsolete, and cast as rubbish to the void. The better day 
is coming. The larger affairs of the kingdom of God de- 
mand a larger charity and closer fellowship in all things 
essential. The churches of to-day are praying larger 
prayers, are preaching larger thoughts and making de- 
mands upon believers never before uttered. The journals 
of the church of a living God were never so alive as to- 
day. We are fairly familiar with the words, as they come 
warm from the editorial sanctums of the religious journals 
of the nation, and confident are we that the kingdom of 
God is coming at a more rapid rate than ever. 

The editor is the blessed ally of the minister : the 
journal is the educator, inspirer and comforter of the 
home ; the journal is the right hand of every advancing 
cause of God. It is fitting therefore that the religious 


journals of the eliiircli recognize this century of their ex- 
istence, their growtli and their power. Their influence 
has only just begun ; the splendid inheritance has only 
been feebly appreciated ; but a new century is at hand ; 
the field is white for a new and finer harvest. The call is 
for the divine right of the churches getting together in 
all their vast concerns. Variety there always will be, and 
charity always must be: but hand in hand the living God 
calls for all to Jiasten Ilis kingdom into the hearts of man- 

Elias Smith was a man for his time and generation. 
He was an easy victim for every wind of doctrine. He 
was constructed on that plan. The whole gamut of con- 
troversy it was his privilege to sound. To keep track of 
him theologically was most difficult. The Universalist 
Church has its share of him. He was in its fellowship at 
different times ; his first, as he says in his memorable 
Autobiography, was for "fifteen days." He pulilishcd in ISl'.t ;i 
book in advocacy of doctrines held by Hosea Ballon. He was a 
physician of the body as well, if not better, than of the 
soul. He lectured on his system of doctoring ( Thompson- 
ian) throughout New England, and never gave up the 
privilege of proclaiming the gospel as he understood it. 
\yith all his waverings amid the doctrines of the church, 
be ever clung close to the Bible as an authority from God. 
as possessing an inspired revelation from God : he held to 
liberty and an open Bible. The charge of infidelity was 
never intelligently made against him. Jesus continued 
his Lord and Master and the Bible his l)ook of life. In 
1840, while residing in Trovidence, R. L, in his age, bur 
still vigorous in mind, he caught anew the vision of the 
Savior's concjuest over every sin. and enemy of God, and 
found a comfort he never before realized. He passed for- 
ward to the home immortal in the summer of 1840. at the 
liome of a daughter in Lynn, Mass., and his funeral was 
conducted by the eminent Boston divine. Rev. Sebastian 

Be it further said that with all his theological migra- 
tions. ^Ii'. Smith remained a friend of Hosea Ballon 


whose neighbor he was in Portsmouth and Boston. Tlie 
words of Rev. Lemuel Willis, in a chapter in his '■Recollec- 
tions." * upon Elias Smith, wlmm he knew intimately 
for many years, are of worth to-day. He says, "Elias Smith 
was always an honest man." Elias Smith had a tempera- 
ment different from many. Imt was ever honest, out- 
spcil^cn and earnest. He wrought a better work than he 
knew. He well deserves the homage of the whole church. 
This centennfal assemblage affords an opportunity for ex- 
pression : the w(n'ds will pass along, and editors feeling 
tlie pulsations of this gathering will send forth the favor- 
ing message in their journals and anew will sound the 
homage of the church in l)ehalf of one of its humble 
laborers in the vineyard whose fruits we so well enjoy. 

The century of religious journalism in America is not 
witliout interest and romance. It marks an era in the un- 
foldiiu'iit of ("liristian truth, and tlie enforcement of Chris- 
tian truths upon tlie lives and characters of Christian be- 
lievers. There have been many a turn and overturn in the 
journals of every denomination, but from them all have 
gone forth an influence for the cementing of unity, the 
advancement of common imrposes. and the progress of 
principles which l)etoken a great step forward in theo- 
retical and practical Christianity. 

* In rdhnnns ')f 7'//' I' iiirr,-..:iilisi . I'.Dston. IsTd. 






Every tliougbt, if made effective, must liave expression ; 
every life, if made useful, must have a purpose; and every 
iustitutiou, if worthy of the iinme, must have a plan. If 
any one of these factors be lacking, results are necessarily 
very uncertain. 

It has been said that history repeats itself. If so, it 
is an effort to correct mistakes and regain losses. 

The church idea worked somewhat in this way. Truth 
does not change in its essential character, but man's 
relation to truth is by no means so steady. The church, 
as well as the state, is subject to disturbances, upheavals 
and even revolutions, entailing losses of the most serious 

No great period of liistcu'y has passed without such losses 
to the church. This is true of both Judaism and Christian- 
it,v. Judaism had its Egyptian slavery and its deliverance ; 
the destruction of its temple and its rebuilding ; Babylonish 
captivity and the return of the Jews to their own land; 
the crucifixion of llie Clii'ist and Ilis resurrection. The 
Christian dispensation lias witnessed persecution and mar- 
tyi'doiii with untold losses from internal strife and opposing 
intiuences. Even the endowment of the church with world 
power and intluence under Constautine brought great spirit- 
ual losses. It was jiractically the beginning of the Dark 

To-day, we stand face to face with the perils of a spirit- 
ually bedimmed scholarship, with a strong leaning to the 
practical abandonment of the strongholds of the Christian 
faith. In the midst of these disturbances the church has 

* Delivered on Thursday morning, September ITtlj, in the 
TTniversallst cliiirch. Dr. Barrett Is the editor of the Herald of 
Gospel Liberty, Dayton, Ohio. 


witnessed many a rise and fall, sometimes her thought has 
been Avrecked ; sometimes lier purpose has been shaken ; 
sometimes her plans liave Iteen upset, but in storm and sun- 
shine she has remained the blood-bought church, and like 
the well-ballasted ship, she has always righted herself and 
continued her way for the harbor of safety. 

It was in the throes of these theological uitheavals that the 
original beauty of the church was so marred as hardly 
to be recognized as the institution outlined to us in the New 
Testament. Spiritual decline necessarily followed, contin- 
uing for many centuries. The darkness was intense and 
tlie church drifted as a ship with a broken shaft and a 
helpless crew. At length it pleased God to dispel this 
long night of ignorance and superstition. Tlie church has 
been even longer in regaining, than she was in losing, her 
likeness to the divine ideal. The Reformation was one of a 
series of terrific upheavals which shook the church as a 
gr(>at earthquake shakes the earth. It was a necessity. As 
the nuner breaks in pieces the ore that he may gather 
and treasure its rich nuggets of gold, so these theological 
earthquakes were just as necessary as a means of breaking 
up error for the liberation of pure truth. 

From the conversion of Constantino to Clu'istianity the 
cluu-ch, perhaps unwittingly, had abandoned herself largely 
to the world spirit. This decline became the xmdoing in a 
large degree of tlie achievements of the apostolic age. On 
this battleground the chiu'ch lost heavily and rapidly. This 
down grade tendency continued for more than a thousand 
years. At length when reaction did set in. the recovery of 
ancient ideals was very slow. Even in victor.v there was a 
heavy loss to the visible organization through the necessary 
breaking up of existing conditions. 

This work of destruction had been long continued and 
most disastrous. Reconstriu-tion was also slow and haz- 
ardous. With the settling of great issues came other dis- 
ruptions, shaping themselves into new ideals. These were 
speedily followed by a multiplicity of denominations each 
more or less strongly set with sectarian bias, 


Reformers were numerous, eaeli leadiug a movement pe- 
culiar to bis own conception of trutli. E^ery reform move- 
ment became a sort of religious storm center, presenting a 
scene of confusion. Every sucli organization became a 
scbool of thougbt peculiar to its own genius. Tbese gave 
rise to many denominations, more and more obscuring tlie 
original ideals of tlie true chiu-cb. Hundreds of years liave 
not been sufticient to undo tbe miscbief tbus wrougbt in 
dividing tbe cburcb. Every division, instead of belping. 
seemed to delay tbe preacbing of tbe Gospel to every 

Among tbe earliest to see tbe bavoc tbus wrougbt in tbe 
cburcb of Cbrist. was a small group of men wbo lived in 
tbe closing days of tbe Eigbteentb and in tbe opening days 
of tbe Nineteentb Centuries. Tbese were James O'Kelly. 
Rice Haggard. Abner Jones, Elias Smitb. Barton W. Stone 
and David Purviance. Tbey saw, not tbe need of anotber 
denomination, but tbe necessity for tbe people of God to 
get togetber in tbe spirit of tbe Master after tbe mannei- 
of tlie early cburcb. Out of tbis desire and purpose sprang 
wbat we call tbe Cbristian Movement. 

Tbe aim of tbis paper is t(» present briefly tbe tbougbt 
and spirit of tbese men. If we are to grasp tbe Genius 
of the Cbristian Movement, as tbey launched it. we must 
search diligently tbe moral and spiritual upheavals of the 
days of tbe Reformation and tbe times following. If we 
find 11. we shall discover the essential organic structure 
of tbe cburcb and tbe spiritual life common in the days 
of tbe apostles. The decline of the cluu'cb which folloAved 
the downfall of tbe Roman Empire bad Ixm-u slow. Its 
reconstruction must necessarily be slow. 

These |)ro[)bcts of the Christian Abivemeiit .sought to 
liring back to tbe connnon peo]ile the fresh vigor and spir- 
itual beauty of tbe church as in tlie days when Pentecostal 
tii'cs burned in every heart under the descent of tbe Spirit 
and tbe preacbing of Peter, that again she might go forth 
to her legitimate work of bringing tbe lost world to Christ. 

Necessarily many distorted ideals were thrust upon the 
people of (Jod, involving many misunderstandings, mistakes 


and failures, but these were the losses which necessarily 
follow the pulling down of the old, as a preparation for 
rebuilding the new. 

No man can do better than to live up to the light he has, 
or with proper effort, maj^ get. No doubt these men made 
mistakes. The drift of their life service may seem to many 
to have been in vain, yet we must admit their labors were an 
important part of a great whole. 

In a prayerful study of the Word of God these men 
caught a clear vision of the church of Christ as the Family 
of God, with Jesus the Elder Brother, as its head, and 
with the Holy Spirit as the guide to the Household of faith. 
In this clear vision the rights, privileges and the blessings 
of this spiritual kingdom were for everyone who was pre- 
pared to receive them. This household ideal was very near 
to the original model of the church of Christ, as outlined 
to us in the New Testament. This vision deepened into 
a conviction, the conviction ripened into a movement which, 
though never of great numerical or financial proportions, 
yet became a leader in a number of forward movements, 
which have exercised a large influence in the shaping of the 
destiny of the church of the Nineteenth Century. Such as 
tlie introduction of the idea that the Bible is the creed, 
and the only creed, the church needs ; the establishment of 
the religious newspaper ; the admission of women to equal 
privileges in the college curriculum with men ; and the 
name Christian as the only name the church of Christ 

This Movenieut was based upon the essential principle 
that the church of Christ is one in its life, in its spirit. 
in its character and in its work. In it every child of God 
has inherent and undeniable rights which no man may give 
and no man may take away from any trusting child of God, 
for if children then heirs. Their rights are by inheritance. 

For this conception of the church they were dependent 
upon the Bible. The principle involved has exerted a dom- 
inant influence over the organization through all its history. 
For more than one hundred years it has swept along the 
currents of religious thought as a great Gulf Stream, 


melting tbe icebergs of bigotry and sectarianism. The 
Bible being the creed of its faith and the rule of its prac- 
tice, no Christian can be excluded from its membership. 
"By their fruits ye shall know them." 

The truths of the Bible are fundamental. Opinions 
about these truths may vary so long as the variations are 
not specifically (/^-Christian. This basic principle of the 
church necessarily gave rise to other controlling ideas 
which dominated the Movement everywhere. 

Some of these are : 

The Bible as authority on all matters of Christian life, 
experience and service, as the Holy Spirit may reveal 
them to the individual mind and heart. 

We bow, not to the teachings of man, nor to a man-made 
theology, nor to councils, nor to Popes, but to the Word of 
God. We do not believe that the Bible has been decom- 
posed, nor its authority dissolved. Nor do we believe the 
logic of Protestantism re(]uires any sucn decomposition or 

With the Bible as man's guide in finding his way back 
to eternal life in Christ we associate his right to enjoy 
the privilege of individual interpretation of the Word for 
himself. Man's first ar)proach to God is necessarily indi- 
vidual. No man could have been a proxy for Moses at the 
burning bush. lie must go in person, in mind and heart. 
The coming of the individual to Christ involves the neces- 
sity of a personal experience. Hence the individual ac- 
ceptance of Christ must de])end very largely upon the Spir- 
it's revelation of truth to the individual mind ; and yet it 
is a fact that individual interpretation is circumscribed by 
well-defined limitations. No scripture must be given an 
un-Christian interpretation — the Spirit of Christ must per- 
meate its every thought. Again, individual interpretation 
does not mean that the individual in the exercise of this 
right may repudiate any portion of Scripture, and this is 
the more important since the right of individual interpre- 
tation rests upon the full acceptance of the Bible as the 
Word of God. Such interpretation, therefore, must always 
l:e Christian in its spirit, scope and purpose. This gives 


largest liberty consistent with the teachings of the Word. 
It is by no means a license for uncontrolled freedom, 
either in thought or conduct. No one has authority to do 
as he pleases regardless of truth. Christian liberty is 
freedom to do God's will as the Spirit may make it plain 
to the believer as revealed in the Bible. 

It has been said that true liberty has been found only in 
obedience to the proper restraints of life. The banks of 
the river keep its waters under control and in the proper 
channel ; the planets unrestrained by the law of gravitation 
would wreck themselves in their own confused flights. Re- 
straint regulates liberty and affords protection from evil — 
it is not a license to do evil, but a restraint from danger, 
binding us to the right. The man who claims liberty as 
his authority for doing as he pleases is already in the bond- 
age of sin and so handicapped in his efforts to serve God 
or to help his fellowmen. It is said that the nightingale 
will not sing in a cage — she must have her God-given lib- 
erty ere her sweetest and highest note can be sounded. It 
is just so with the Christian — bind him in the galling 
chains of the teachings of men and he cannot reach the 
l)innacle of harmony with God. This was Paul's idea as 
expressed to the Corinthian chvirch : "WJiere the Spirit of 
the Lord is, there is Jibertp." 

The Christian Church does not stand for liberty apart 
from the truth. Her great work is to search out the truth 
as revealed in the word of God, and having found it, she 
gets her largest liberty by obedience to its requirements. The 
individual must obey not what the "Word says to another, 
but what it says to him, personally. The French Revolu- 
tion had as a motto : "Liherti/, Equulity and Fraternity." 
and yet it became the inspiration of sin and crime and 
bloodshed. It defied the laws of faith and conscience, and 
in anarchy precipitated a nation into tlie depths of skep- 
ticism. We know the wreck that followed such lawlessness. 
Such liberty will produce like results in the church. 

The position of the Christian Church has been construed 
by some outsiders to mean inde])endence of thought in de- 
fiance to the ^^'ord of God. The right and duty to follow 


reason, rather tliaii revelation, has been boldly declared by 

the unfriendly. This is a freak of boyish scholarship, from 

which with love and patience, the offender may recover 

himself, or if not, he will go into downright infidelity. 

Rev. N. Summerbell, D. D., once said : 

The Christians hold what may he called conservative orthodoxy. 
They strip orthodox doctrines of all popish dress and hold them 
in Biblical truth : but HOLD them. We do not encourage or tol- 
erate attacks on the Biljle : we stand or fall with the Bible. If 
the Bible be true, as we affirm, it is the foundation of all truth : 
If (which is impossible) the Bible were not true, we have no 
business as a church, and should disband. 

Loyalty is a great thought — not as applied to any human 
theology, but to the Word of God. As such it is the slogan ot 
the Christian Movement — it was in the beginning of our 
work, it is now, and let us pray that it may be forever. 
Loyalty to the Word of God was not only the thought of 
the early leaders among us, but was largely the thought 
of many of the great reformers. 

Martin Luther boldly repudiated human creeds, declaring 
that either the preacher or the layman had the right to 
read the Bible and judge individually of its teachings for 
his own life. This is essentially just what the Christians 
have taught from the beginning. 

John Wesley also repudiated human creeds and magnified 
the Bible as the only authority for the church, declaring 
that he would 'regard the authority of no writings but 
the inspired.' It was for this liberty to be free from human 
dictation, and free to obey the Word of God, for which our 
forefathers contended. 

Elias Smith, tlie founder of religious journalism, has 

said : 

Relisrious lilierty is wliat my heart rejoices in, and what I 
long for all men to enjoy. I am bound, as a lover of mankind 
to instruct them and to teach them the nature of it. according 
to my ability and the opportunity given me. This is the glorious 
liberty of tlie children of God ; begun here, to be completed at 
the resurrection of the just. Tliis is the lihcrtii which the Son of 
God proclaimed to captives, founded on the perfect law of liberty, 
wherewith Christ makes us free indeed. This liberty was first 
preached by .Tesus Christ, next by the apostles, who learnt of 
Him, and was known and enjoyed by the CHRISTIANS in the 
days (jf tlie apostles. 

The basic ])rincipl(' for which we stand, as a ]HX)ple, 

makes it necessary to take the T>il>le, and the Bil)le only, 


as the guide for the Christian life. This is not a no-creed 
theory, as many have clairued, — it means not that the 
Christians liave no creed, but that tliey have no creed but 
the Bible — an all-sufficient creed. No creed at all would 
mean no belief, and no belief would put us outside the 
pale of Christianity, making us in fact no better than ag- 
nostics. Certainly we have a creed, a precious creed — con- 
tained only in the thought of the Word. This gives us an 
advantage over other creeds, at least in this, we avoid 
confusing the commandments of God with the command- 
ments of men, as is so often done when man attempts to 
formulate his individual belief into a creed for others. All 
Christian creeds are based on the Bible except ours — ours 
is the Bible. We object to doctrine which cannot be stated 
in Bible language, because the thought which cannot be 
stated in Bible language cannot claim the Bible as its 

It is a fact, a lamentable fact, that the divisions of the 
church have arisen almost wholly from the effort of men 
to' formulate God's thought into human creeds. Can any 
human creed be better than the Bible? Or even equal to 
the Bible? All must answer in the negative. Then why 
lay aside the best for something not so good? Why turn 
from Him in whom is light, and with whom is no darkness 
at all, to follow where light and darkness are so much con- 

We do not hold that Bible doctrine is unimportant, but 
just the opposite. It is vital to the life and faith and serv- 
ice of the believer, and equally important for the church, 
as a body, but we mean Bible doctrine, expressed in Bible 
language — not man's biased formulated statements of doe- 
trine. The Christian Movement thus became a necessity 
with our fathers to enable them to escape endorsing and 
teaching the commandments of men. 

One of the leading minds associated with our Movement 

in the Nineteenth Century, said : 

Wo ho.d truth in the words in v.hich <".o(\ save it, propliets 
wrote it, Christ spoke it and the apostles taught it. We will 
neither add to the words for popery, nor give them up for liberty. 
If tlie imperfect forms (of so-called truth) are taught in the 
Bible, it must be in Bible language. If that is the way God 


chose to teach them, that is the way we choose ; if we can learn 
them in Bible language, we have no need of formulas. If we can- 
not, then we did not learn them in the Bible. 

The Bible was given for man's instruction in spiritual 
trutli by the best Teacher of the ages. If He could not 
teach us truth correctly, then no otlier need try. As we see 
it, the difference between the commandments of God and the 
formulated statements of doctrine by man is as the differ- 
ence between the early morning fog and the clear, beauti- 
ful and pure atmosphere of a cloudless mid-day. 

Not only are the formulated creed statements responsible 
for tlie divisions of the church, but we hold it largely 
responsible for the more modern and so-called respectable 
phases of unbelief. Men became so sick and tired of the 
creeds of men that they could not bear them any longer, 
and when they began to unload, they failed to discriminate 
between the Word of God and the creeds of men and both 
were largely discarded. 

The first great victory of our pioneer leaders was gained 
at the foot of the Cross, when they laid aside all authority 
in religion except the Bible. Having regained, as they be- 
lieved, the true ideal of the primitive church, the need of 
a name for this Movement confronted them as an imme- 
diate necessity. They readily saw that the name to serve 
their purpose must be ideal — scriptural. The name must 
be acceptable to every true believer. The denominational 
names already in use were considered, but failed to meet 
their needs, for they were not large enough to include the 
whole family of God. The name which should serve to 
identify this Movement must be big enough and broad 
enough to give a royal welcome to every child of God. 
It was indeed a perplexing problem and a vital issue. 

After nmch prayer in conference, God gave to Rice Hag- 
gard the privilege and honor to suggest a name in every 
way just suited to meet their needs. In the Conference at 
Lebanon, Surry County, "N'irginia, August 4, 1794, he arose 
before the assembled representatives of the brotherhood 


aud holding aloft in liis riglit hand a r-opy of the New 

Testament, he said : 

Brethren, this is ;', sufficient rule of faitli and practice. By it 
we understand the disciples of our Lord were first called Chris- 
tians, and I move that henceforth and forever the followers of 
Christ Ije known as Christians simply. 

The motion prevailed inianimously. and from this time 
and event, as a peojile, we have recognized no other name, 
and why should weV I >id not I'anl give lis fair warning 
of the danger of jiarty n;inies for (iod"s people? In I Cor- 
inthians 1: 11'. 1.",. he boldly declares: 

Now this I say that every one of you that s.aith. I am of Paul : 
and I of Appollos : and I of Cephas ; and I of Christ. Is Christ 
divided'.' Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in His 


That i)nts tlie plnlosophy of the name of the I'edepuu'd in :i 
nutshell. He who was crncitied for ns — shall not His iiomr 
he oiirx? Is He not our bridegroom? And can we without 
guilt lay aside His name for another? Let us think — let us 
face the facts. Before us stand <'brist and Ltither — whose 
name shall we wear? Before us stand Christ and IIuss — 
whose name shall we wear? Before its stand Christ and Wesley 
— whos(^ name shall we weai-? Before us stand Christ and 
O'Kelly — whose name shall we wear? Shall Ihe bride 
choose :ind wear the name of I.ttther. or IIuss. or Wesley, 
or 0"Kelly? r)r shall she in true loyalty wear the real 
iMuie of the bridegroom ami after Him call her.self Chris- 
tian? Who are Luther and IIuss and Wesley and 0"KelIy? 
And what have they done for tis? They were instruments 
in leading us to Christ. And has Christ done for tis? 
And what is He still doing for us? lie died to redeem us 
from the curse of sin under the law. so making us heirs of 
Cod. The clmrcli is His own loved bride, all glorious with- 
in ;ind beautiful without. Not only so. lint He ever liveth 
to make intercession for us ;it the right hand of God. Ah. 
surely by every reasonable claim He has a right to expect 
us to wear His n.nme. 

Again, before us stand Christ and Ilis ordinances — what 
name shall we wear? Before us stand Christ and the 
forms of church government — what name shall we wear? 
Shall ini onJ'ntaucr take first place, and t'lirisf second? 


Shall a mere for))i of chnrvli govennneiit come first and 
Christ second? Never! He mnst be first — He is first. 

It is enough. We recognize Him as our bridegroom — we 
wear His name as we seek to live His victorious life. 
Because we are spiritually married to him. we call our- 
selves Christians after His own l»eautiful name. 

And we wear His name not in any invidious sense, not 
in any presumptuous way. but we wear it devoutly, as in- 
dicating our allegiance to Christ, and at the same time as 
most promotive of real brotherly love in true Christian 
unity and a Christ-like fellowship. It has been charged 
that we wear the nam(> Christian in an exclusive sense, as 
though no others are Christians. The opjiosite is true — 
we wear it as the heritage of every child of Cod. If any 
refuse it, that is neither our fault, nor is it any reason wliy 
we should give it u]), since a Christ-like life is a sure 
]tassport to the fellowship of our people. No other name is 
ini-lnsi\-e enough to lionov o\n' principles. 

Tlic only (exclusive sense in which we wear the name 
('in-istlan is in onr organic relationsliiii. and that is a 
loiiijcal necessity, rather than a i)nrpose upon our part. ^A'e 
liold tli.-ii no organization should wear the name Christian 
so long as the conditions of fellowship shut out from its 
membership any true child of God. Under that name all 
Christians have a right to stand, to live, and to serve. 

^lost certainly we readily grant that any church whose 
terms of fellowship are such as to cut off a part of the 
people of God. has a right to wear a sectarian name — for 
it is ;i sect, liut if is e(|nally true that any cliurch whose 
conditions of fellowship are such as to welcome to its fel- 
lowship any and every true child of God — that church has a 
logical and a Scriptural right to call itself simply Christian. 

The ('hristian Church seeks to give to the church univer- 
sal a practical expression of true Christianity in its beauty 
and simplicity, divested of the last vestige of sectarianism 
to the end that the world may see Christ in us as its hope. 

A glorious picture that! Christianity pure and simple — 
that, and nothing more — that, and nothing loss. It was for 


this that Jesus prayed. Will any band be lifted to stay 
the day of the ans\A-er to His prayer? 

The spiritual oneness of His people burdened His last 
days on earth — not even the agony of the Cross obscured 
His vision of a unified church. Oneness in harmony is the 
great thought of Christ for His people. He stands in their 
midst and prays for their oneness in the faith. 

It is said that a German musician, though unable to 
speak 'English, had a highly cultivated ear — ex- 
quisitely sensitive to harmony, while discord would make 
him miserable. Passing down the street of one of our Amer- 
ican cities, he heard music in a nearby church.. Hoping 
to be inspired and helped he went in, but be found the 
music execrable, so far as its harmony was concerned. At 
first every singer seemed to be making discord. The im- 
pulse to retire seized him, but courtesy forbade such rude- 
ness. He bravely endured the pain. Soon he discovered 
among the singers a trained voice — it was that of a woman. 
Though surrounded by discord she showed no sign of dis- 
pleasure — she simply gave herself to the task of maintain- 
ing harmony in the midst of much discord. 

The musician was charmed. The discord seemed to add 
to the power of her rich voice. Soon he observed that 
there was much less discord, and soon there was none ; 
for one true sweet voice had swayed discord and converted 
it into harmony. Here is an illustration of the Genius of 
the Christian Movement under the leadership of the Holy 

To the spectator, the church has often seemed to be a 
great discordant mass, filled with strife and conflict. But 
the careful observer has discovered ONE in the midst of 
her who is maintaining harmony. He is dispelling discord 
— He is swaying the multitude, and bringing them into 
harmony with heaven. He is leading the symphony of 
God, and He is expecting His people to learn to sing with 
Him. He waits patiently for harmony, but in the world 
of strife and conflict He keeps up the music of salvation. 

The Genius of the Christian Movement puts us on vant- 
age ground as members of the great chorus. We have not 



reached perfect harmony — far from it. but we are in posi- 
tion to follow His leadership with the whole company of 
the redeemed, till He shall have put away all discord, having 
transformed the universe into Heavens own harmony, pro- 
ducing at last the divine ideal of the church — the grandest 
music of the ages. This prayer will sweep away all mis- 
understanding, all bitterness and all rivalry, when Heaven 
will come to earth and the Lord's people will be one forever. 
Let us come nearer, and yet nearer — let us fall at His feet 
till we learn to sing with Him the glorious anthem of 
praise for a unified spiritual church on earth — a prototype 
of the Church Triumphant. 

REV. .T. J. SU:MMERBEI>L, T). I). 



BY REV. J. J. SUMMEUr.KLU I>. 1). 

Nineteen hundred years ago a reporter from beaven 
bronj^lit good news to some shepherds keeping wateli over 
their flocks by niglit : "good news of great joy." Tb(» 
reporter came from a place of feUowsliip. He liad good 
news for "all the iieoplc." 

Many people are afraid (if rcjiorters. So it was in this 
case. The history reads. "And they were sore afraid. 
And tlie angel said unto tliem. Be not afraid; for, behold. 
L bring yon good news of great joy which shall i)e to all 
the people: for there is bdi-n to you this day in the citj- 
of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." 

The reporter then told them bow they should know the 
child. The news was so interesting, that a multitude of 
reporters from the woi'ld of glory came in gloi-y to the 
interview witli the shepherds, saying. "(Ibn'y to (iod in the 
highest, on earth peace." They all brought good news of 
ft-llowshii). the fellowshi]! of heaven. 

The essence of journalism, according to the sense of 
tills Portsmouth meeting, is not the issuing of a literary 
production every day, whatever may be the etymology of 
the word. The chief thing that malves journalism of value 
is /K/r.v. tidings. And that night, 1000 years ago, angels 
brought glad tidings to carl It, Ibc best ever I'eported : — "on 
earth peace." 

^i'he spirit of licaring glad tidings, good news, was im- 
jiarted I'.MKt years ago so effectually, that Ibe jiampblet 
that tells the story to this day is called "The Cospel Ac- 
ccrding to Luke;" that is, the good news according to Luke. 
.\nd tbei-e ;ire otliei' ] irodnct ions witli wbicb we are some- 
what familiar: the good news according to >ratthew, and 

* n.'li\-iM-cil on ■|'liiii-S(l,i.\- iirif-riiiMin. Si-plciiilHT ITIli. in tlii^ 
Christian chni-cli. 1 )r. Suninici'lcll was loi- twchc years ('(liter et 
llic IIi:i!,\ri) u|- Cesri:!, I.iia-rrv. at Iia\ton. oiiici. 


accoi'diug to Mark, and aecordiug to John : reporters to 
whom an ungrateful world accorded privations and suffer- 
ings because of their reporting the good news. 

But the good news of these humble reporters, of whoro 
the world was not worthy, has been published far and 
wide ; and we are under its influence, and are met to-day 
in the spirit left by those reporters of heaven and earth, 
and which has sunk into the hearts of mankind, from 
reading the news they transmitted to us. And the spirit 
of their report of the birth, life, goodness, doctrine and 
death of Jesus Christ, is the spirit of fellowship. And fel- 
lowship entered into the thought of early Christians so 
deeply that I find the following language in the dispatches 
of some of their reporters : — 

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, 
that ye also may have fellowship with us ; yea, and our fellowship 
is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ : and these 
things we write, that our joy may be made full. (1 John 1 : 3-4.) 

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and in 
fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 
2: 42.) 

If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellow- 
ship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us 
from all sin. (1 John 1:7.) 

God is faithful, through whom ye were called into the fellow- 
ship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor. 1:9.) 

He hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great prom- 
ises ; that through these ye may become partakers of n divine 
nature, having escaped from the corruption that is In the world 
by lust. (2 Peter 1:4.) 

"Partakers of a divine nature" ! Think of that for one 
moment. Peter was the reporter who had the conception. 

But some one here may object, that that was in ancient 
times ; that the spirit of fellowship animating those early 
Christians, who had "all things common," has departed 
from the world ; and that sectarian antipathies have now 
poisoned the breath of fellowship ; so that the religious 
journals of our time report hatred and strife, rather than 
communion and fellowship. 

But such objection would be partly erroneous. There are 
probably no men of modern times in official station, that 
manifest a broader spirit of fellowship than the editors 
of religious journals. I say this from personal observation 
and experience. Let me explain : — 


For six or seven j^ears I was associated iu the paid edi- 
torship of different monthly religions magazines ; and dnr- 
ing that time not an unkind word as to my writing, as far 
as I know, was said in any cotemporary, though my arti- 
cles were often on controverted subjects. Later, I was twelve 
years editor of the Herald of Gospel Liberty; and in the 
twelve 3'ears not a critical word was written in any relig- 
ious exchange outside of my own denomination, that I 
know of, except one. 

In that case I would not have known that my writing 
was referred to had I not received in an envelope 
addressed to "Mr. J. J. Summerbell" a clipping cut from 
the opposing paper and pasted on its letter-head. From 
this I inferred that the disagreeable clipping referred to 
my writing. Immediately I wrote to the editor of the supposed 
critical paper, suggesting to him in the best English then at 
my command that his action was not journalistic ; that 
he should have made the matter plain iu his paper, and 
not have called to his help a private envelope. Apparently 
by return mail I received a courteous letter from him, be- 
ginning with some such sentence as this : — "It looks like it ; 
but I didn't do it." And he explained that he had been 
absent from his office when the objectionable act was done. 
And I think he was sincere. For, a number of years after- 
ward, after I had delivered an appointed speech to a con- 
gregation numbering thousands of his deuomiuation, in- 
forming them in my usual style that I was not in favor of 
their doctrines (or matter to that effect), while I was sit- 
ting in the hotel dining-room, he came over from his table 
to mine, stooped over me and said in a most pleasant man- 
ner, "You have the faculty of Gladstone ; making a dry, 
parliamentary subject as interesting as a novel". ... Of 
course, his compliment was flattery, but it did not spring 
from a hateful heart, but from a spirit of fellowship. For 
I had often pounded his doctrine to the best of my ability. 

And that spirit of fellowship I found to be characteristic 
of the general body of religious editors. If any of you 
remember my service, you may possibly recall that every 
week for years on the first page of my paper I was in the 


habit of quutiiiy from other poriodieals. making criticisms, 
opposing; tlieir statciiiciits soiiictiiiu'S. sdiiictinics ai»i)roviiig 
tlieui, quoting for my (iwii purjioses and according to the 
line of thought I wished to impress; and yet in the whole 
twelve years, however n)uch I may have deserved it, though 
the Hkkald was often quoted. 1 was nev(>r once accused 
of misquoting or garbling a ]iassage. or censtruing it con- 
trary to the meaning of the writer, or even unjustly, un- 
less it was in the one case I have stated to you. I am 
not so foolish as to suppose that I never merited criticism. 
Such charity among exchanges of other denominations 
could have come only from genuine fellowship ; the true 
thing. Different religious pajiers said kind things of me 
on my leaving the editorial chair. The following is a 
sample : — 

Brother Summerliell is probably not iiware that his courteous 
manner of treating- his editorial brethren of all faiths and his 
large-heartedness have won for him a warm place in their hearts. 

"Large-heartedness'" I And yet I thought 1 had been act- 
ing like a sectarian I ""Aftei- the njost straitest sect of our 
religion I had lived a" . . . Christian. P>ut these so- 
called sectarian editors, oul of their own wainn hearts, at- 
tributed good to me. 

One cause of this broad spirit of fellowshi]i among relig- 
ious editors is the ]inrity of tin' underlying principles 
which animate them in their calling. Nearly all of them 
being ministers of the gospel, they began their life work 
under the sense of moral obligation, feeling "called of God." 
In entering the editor.ship. it was with this sense continued, 
'i'herefore. in doing their work, they look at subjects from 
the standpoint of righteousness. They are men of Ood. T 
discovered that they were .-ilmost unf.-ulingly on the right 
side on moral (|Uestions. Whether controversbnlly. homilet- 
ically. or journ.alistically writing on any subject, they ad- 
\oc;ited righteousness. ;uid condemned sin. .\nd they were 
s]iecilic in this. They wei'e not merely priests ministering 
at an ;iltar. [lerfundorily pronouncing ;ige-worn formulas, 
Imt messengers of Ood. heaven's rejiorters. announcing to 
priests and laymen ;ilike the princi|>les of I'aradise. 


Thus arrayed iu one body on the side of heaven, in its 
great warfare against hell, religions editors, if honest men, 
logically warm toward each other, and gain a sweet spirit 
of fe]lo^^•ship. Remember how it was in ancient times. 
The heathen said, "See how these Christians love one 
another." It was because the Christians of that day were 
engaged in common in a war against iniquity. They were 
the servants of the Father of love; in fact, they were his 
children, all in the family of the most affectionate Being 
of the universe; in the family of him who gave his only 
legatten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not 
perish ; he so loved the world. This great war against sin 
and evil is caused by lov<'. It is love that God uses to win 
sinners into the family : and it is a right instinct in them, 
developing into love, which moves the hearts of sinners to 
accept the love of God. 

Modern religious editors are the heirs of the ancient 
Christians. Although a man may begin as editor with 
comparatively little love for fellow editors, the necessities 
of the great campaign draw him into a genuine fellowship 
with them. They have the same sufferings and triumphs ; 
the same hopes and fears ; the same loves and hates. When 
(Jod is victorious in some skirmish, they write similarly 
exultant editorials. When sinners seem to prevail, their 
columns have a common pessimistic tone. They are broth- 
ers to each other in their happiness or misery. 

I must not be understood to claim that */// religious 
editors have a sweet sjnrit all the time. There are ex- 
ceptions. I hold in my hand one editorial containing the 
following expressions of rhetoric, ... or animosity, to- 
ward another journars editorial : — 

"A whole bundle of inisstatements ;"' 

"False inferences ;" 

"Conspicuous example of inaccuracy ;"' 

"Generally characteristic ;" 

"Misrepresented remarks ;" 

"Imaginary and false reports ;" 

"Blunder ;" 

"False conclusions ;" 

"Other inaccuracies ;" 

"Misleading statements ;" 

"Most unreliable ;" 


"Totally inadequate ;'' 
"Distorted and garbled ;'" 
"Sensationalism for revenue only." 

The followiug are some more flowers that this same 

editor, in an editorial entitled "An Unchristian Spirit," 

lays on the table of another religious editor : — 

This saintly personage raised a great to-do about the terms we 
employ. . . . That he has no objection to the use of strong 
terms is evident in the language he employs himself. For in- 
stance, "language of extreme coarseness, rampant recklessness, 
and savage brutality." Pretty fair for a writer who has nothing 
but "papa, prune and prism" for the monumental iniquities of the 
Standard Oil system. It will doubtless be a great comfort to 
this pink of perfection to know that we have already apologized to 
the vampire and the bloodsucker for the unsavory association in 
which we placed them. 

This editor had received the following compliment from 

anotlier religious editor : — 

The editor of the , of . in a recent 

editorial concerning ^Mr. Rockefeller, indulges in language of ex- 
treme coarseness, rampant recklessness and savage brutality. No 
editor of a reputable secular newspaper would employ such lan- 
guage. . . . What a Christian lover of his fellowmen that ed- 
itor is ! etc. 

But such bocjuets are rarely found in the religious edi- 
torial sanctums. They are not characteristic of the pro- 

Righteousness is at tlie l)asis of their calling. They have 
not entered on their worli for the earthly advantages of 
it. They do not write for wages, even though they receive 
salaries. They do their work as conscientiously as pastors 
of churelies ; and the exceptions are few. In my twelve 
years' service I only discovered two dishonest religious 
newspapers. Very few of them advocate what they do not 
believe. If they are not in harmony with some denomina- 
tional doctrine, they usually leave it untouched. They try 
not to teach error. And their fellowship is genuine fra- 
ternity, based on character, on sonship to God. 

It need not be supposed that this fraternity is merely a 
goody-goody communion of men who are superficial, or in- 
tellectually weali:. They compare favorably witli editors of 
great metropolitan dailies. "While I was editor, a number 
of years ago, the following headlines and telegram ap- 
peared in the great dailies : — 




Baltimore, Md., August 16. — Consternation reigns In the little 
town of Allen, in soutliern Maryland, over the strange death of 
Walter E. Whitney, a pronounced Atheist, but one of the most 
popular residents of tlie place. 

On Sunday night Whitney was conversing with some friends 
wlien he suddenly exclaimed : — 

"I defy the Almighty to strilie me dead.'" 

Instantly Whitney fell to the fioor and when those about liini 
picked him up he was dead. 

Observing the effort made by one secular journal to ac- 
count for the event on some basis beside that of a judg- 
ment of God, it strueli me that it was important to learn 
If the telegram was true. Therefore I sent the following 

letter :— 

DAYTdN, Ohio, August 19, 1904. 
I'ostfiiasfcr, Allen, MO., 

Dear Sir : — I have observed a telegraphic dispatch in the daily 
papers to the effect that a certain W. E. Whitney on Sunday night, 
August 14th, said : "I defy the Almighty to strilve me dead ;'' and 
immediately fell and was taken up dead. 

Will you kindly take the trouble to inform me if there is truth 
in the account. Respectfully, 


To this letter I received the following reply: — 

Allen, Md.,, August 22, 1904. 
J. J. Suinmcrhell, Daijton, Ohio, 

Dear Sir : — It is all a mistake aliout ^Nlr. AVhitney. There is 
not at present and never was a man in our town by tliat name. 

The writer from here has been on a "booze" for several days, 
so is liable to write most anything. 

Very respectfully, 

S. F. Malone, p. M., Allen, :Md. 

Then I watched my exchanges on this subject, and ob- 
served that the religious editors were not deceived : some 
of them made investigation and denounced the false tele- 
gram. Others treated it with silent contempt, instinctively 
detecting the fraud. They manifested capacity for dis- 
criminating as to history and weighing evidence. Some 
secular editors, however, wrote learned editorials, showing 
how the death of Whitney should not be attributed to 
divine judgment ; but might be accounted for on psycholog- 
ical or physiological grounds. The religious editors first 
investigated, to learn whether the story were true. 

And \vhy should not this be so? The religious editors are 
deeply engaged in those subjects that are the greatest 


offered to human mentality : — God, immortality, righteous- 
ness, the human soul, philanthropy, social betterment, sec- 
tarian theology, missionary enterprise, heaven and other 
topics that expand and strengthen the intellect. 

All this may be said \Yithout detracting in the least from 
the praise due to the editors of our daily newspapers, who, 
as a class of men, are so great that the presidents of the 
United States for many years have with the approval of all 
Americans chosen many of them for our embassadors to 
foreign nations. Probably at the present time some of our 
ministers to foreign courts are editors of American dailies. 
It is with such men that I compare the editors of our 
religious journals. 

Then it is not necessary to attribute the fraternal fel- 
lowship among religious editors to intellectual weakness. 
It comes from exalted character and mental ability, com- 
bined with their official relation to important events and 
great subjects. 

The effect of this fraternity and fellowship among relig- 
ious journalists is various : — ■ 

It tends, with some of them, to annul sectarian lines. 
The editors gain power to recognize the force of the argu- 
ments of other denominations. The editor learns more and 
more that there are not only sensible men, but delightful 
Christians, in all sects. He reasons, that if the editor of 
the journal, whose Christian spirit he so admires, is the 
product of the sectarian theology he has been in the habit 
of opposing, surely it is possible that there may be some 
underlying truth in that apparently reprehensible doctrine. 
Then he becomes more reserved in exposing its errors. 

Fortunate is he, then, if he does not swing over to the 
other extreme, and lose his recognition of the importance of 
the differences between the doctrines of various sects. If 
he can preserve his deep reverence for truth, for truth in 
Its great divisions, and for truth in its minute shadings, he 
has the possibility of becoming much like Jesus. He be- 
comes a safe guide for the people : recognizing truth when- 
ever presented. 


Being thus able to see the force of the argument of an 
opposing sectarian, he is able wisely and effectually to I'e- 
fute the error that weighs the truth down and makes it 
ineft"ective or noxious. Not biased by partisan bigotry, he 
unconsciously labors to present the truth and to refute 
error in such a way that good may be the result. Like 
Jesus, intensely desirous to "bear witness to the truth," 
and to set religionists right, the religious editor who has 
profited suitably by his advantages of service and observa- 
tion, will write with great force ; but often in a way that 
will produce no reply, because of two reasons: — (1) The 
great power of the argument; (2) The kind spirit in 
which that argument is presented, which in itself makes 
the opposing editor who is inclined to reply seem to himself 
to be precipitating controversy. 

There is another effect of this fellowship in journalism. 
It is not so blessed as that which I have discussed. Over- 
come by the fellowship of the editors of other sects, some 
editors seem to lose the power of independent thinking. 
They also cease to protect the interests they are in position 
to serve. Their journals become colorless, except in one 
feature. The paper "puffs" everybody mentioned in its 
editorial columns ; too often spreading eulogy all over per- 
sons who are entire strangers to the editor. The editor 
smiles in every direction; horizontally and vertically. The 
editor even ceases to denounce sin, unless in such a way 
that no subscriber will take offense. The editorials of 
these journals might well be prepared by some literary 
hack, who might write for them all the common "original" 
matter. I have tried to imagine appropriate names for 
such papers ; such as. The Inoffensive Outlook, The Friend- 
ly Advocate, The Applauding Spouter, The Weekly Syco- 
phant, The Gospel Comi)]iment, The Connnciidiiig Iti'corder. 
The Model Eulogizer, The Sunny Sanctum. The Herald of 
Puffery, The Universal Flatterer, The Religious Toady, The 
Fawning Christian, The Obsequious Messenger, and the 
Subservient Humbug. But I have not yet suggested to any 
editor involved, an appropriate name that I thought he 
would adopt. 


Such a spirit iu au editor is a perversion of tlie lioly 
and beautiful feeling of fellowship. If Jesus had been 
animated by it. he would have praised the long prayers 
(if the Pharisees on the street corners; he would have 
directed the people to reverence the great learning of the 
scribes who sat in Closes" seat ; he would have taught the 
Jews that the skeptical Sadducees undoubtedly had made 
important contributions to Scripture study, although not 
one of them ever gave anything worth telling to humanity ; 
he would have called Judas a Napoleon of finance, and 
would have excused his deal with the chief priests as a 
necessary act of business, if Judas had ever been reported 
to him as having negotiated that celebrated bargain. . . . 
But Judas could never have sold such a Jesus : for nobody 
would have liought him. Jesus would have lived and died 
a conmioh-place rabl)i ; or. even if he had attained to a 
l)lace in the Sanliedi'in. he would long ago have been for- 

But I am thankful that the spirit of fellowship in jour- 
nalism produces few editors of this type. It usually makes 
them stronger, l)i'oad('r, and more faithful to the highest 

Finally, the chief and most beneficent effect of fellowship 
in journalism is that oneness of the general followers of 
Clii-ist icr which he so eai'iiestly ]irayed. This oneness is 
steadily griiwing, even though tri-church imions and other 
S(>ctarian combinations pro]terly fail. The common people 
of tile denominations, breathing in the truthful spirit of 
their editors, learning more and moi'e of truth, become free. 
Every thinker knows That he who is lioth the niasffv and 
slave of truth has greatest freedom. Jesus said, "The 
truth shall nmke you free." This freedom in its turn leads 
to truth, and truth leads to oneness. They who believe 
alike are likely to feel alike. And they who feel alike, are 
likely to love each other; to l)e drawn together. The de- 
nomination which has at its command the thought of a 
writer who has been constructively appreciative of the 
thoughts of the great writers of other bodies from week 
to week, as well as the gi'eat builders of the generations, 


will be certain to broaden its fellowsliip more and more 
through tlie years toward tlie oneness that Jesus desired -. 
a oneness that does not depend on tlie unanimous reports of 
well packed committees ; nor on the majority votes of 
denominational parliaments : nor on cheering for "the space 
of two hours, Great is Diana of the Ephesians ;" nor on 
singing the long meter doxology for the rest of the after- 
noon ; . . . but on the freedom of the people who naturally 
love one another. 

Fellowship in journalism will result in the purification of 
the doctrines of the church at large, in the purification 
of the morals of the general membership, and even in the 
purification of the worship of the sanctuary : — all which 
tend to unity. 

Fellowship in journalism will finally lead to a beautiful 
unity even of the denominations of Christians. Their mem- 
bers will all be one, as the Father and the Son are one. 
Thus the church will be lovely, symmetrical in her propor- 
tions, an honor to her Master, arrayed like a bride adorned 
for her husband in white raiment, which is the righteous- 
ness of the saints. And the world will then know that 
there is one Lord, one church, one hope, one God and 
Father of all, and one heavenly home. And there the jour- 
nalists who here have fraternized with" each other and been 
so promotive of final unity, will, no doubt, have the priv- 
ilege of examining the great journal of that greater Editor, 
the "Lamb's hook of life." And with what delight they 
will read the headlines and peruse the records written by 
the heavenly Editor, who died for them, no tongue can 
tell. Rut from that time on, for ever and forevermore, 
they will go in and out in full fellowship, under the direc- 
tions of the gi-eat Editor, in their tiu-n doing: work, and 
still doing work, and doing still Itetter work,, that shall 
conduce to the development of the children of God. "Let 
us love one another." 

REV. 0. W. rOWERS, D. D. 




The Heeald of Gospel Liberty had for its first issue a 
missionary motto. The paper owed its existence to the same 
spiritual quiclcening that gave rise to the modern mission- 
ary movement. It is not unfitting, therefore, that this cen- 
tennial review be closed witli a brief word concerning the 
relation of the press to the great enterprise of world evan- 

^Yhen, in the fullness of time. God was ready to speak 
to the world through His Son, the Word was not only made 
flesh, but a body was also prepared for the reception of 
the words of the message. It cannot be considered other 
than of providential ordering that the Greek language, 
the most perfect instrument for the expression of thought 
]iossessed by man, should be the current literary speech of 
the age in which the Gospel was proclaimed, thus insuring 
the most accurate preservation of the original message, as 
well as its most effective dissemination. The art of mul- 
tiplying literary productions, too, was by no means in its 
infancy. The processes were slow, but not unknown or 

It is said that three methods have always been available 
for the missionary in imparting his message— preaching, the 
testimony of his life, and the written words which can be 
read after he has gone. So the church has proclaimed her 
message, first by direct evangelization, then by exhibiting 
a Christian civilization, and finally by embodying the mes- 
sage in a Christian literature. All this was accomplished 
by the pi'imitive church. 

But after the first great advance, which resulted in at 
least the nominal conquest of the then known world by 

* Delivered on Thursday afternoon. .September 17th. hi the 
Ohristian church. Dr. Powers is Home Mission Secretary for tlie 
American Christian Convention, Dayton, Ohio. 


the cross, we fiucl that the church entered upon a period of 
less strenuous activity in promulgating the Gospel message. 
She lost sight of her divine mission of gospel telling, and 
her leaders became empire builders, contending with kings 
for authority over men. A new quickening was needed, in 
which the church, recalled to herself, might remember her 
commission, and take up again the great work of proclaim- 
ing to a lost world the unsearchable riches of Christ. The 
old world, waking out of sleep, found the new learning and 
the new preaching, calling men to new possibilities of 
mind and heart, while at the same time the restless dis- 
coverers were pointing to new realms awaiting the procla- 
mation of the Word of Life. Says Dean Milman : 

.Just at this period the two great final reformers, the inventor 
of printing and the manufacturer of paper, had not onlj' com- 
menced, but perfected, at one time their harmonious inventions. 
Books became cheap, were multiplied with a rapidity which seemed 
like magic, and were accessible to thousands. . . . The preacher 
was sought not the less on account of the vast extension of his 
influence. His eloquent words were no longer limited by the 
walls of a church, or the power of the human voice ; they were 
echoed, perpetuated, promulgated over a kingdom, over a conti- 
nent. ... To many the Book became the preacher, the in- 
structor, even the confessor. The conscience began to claim the 
privilege, the right, of giving absolution to itself. 

It is curious to note the misgivings with which the great 
discovery which meant so much for the spiritual develop- 
ment of mankind was given to the world. It is related 
that Gutenberg had a dream, in which a spirit seemed to 
come to him and say : 

.John <Jutenl)erg, thou hast made thy name immortal, but at 
what a price ! Bethink thee, what thou art doing ! The ungodly 
are many more than the good. Thy work will but multiply their 
blasphemies and lies. Thou hast uncovered the bottomless pit. 
Henceforth a swarm of seducing spirits shall come forth, like a 
brood of Abaddon, and make the earth a hell. ^yith such woras 
the dream spirit sought to terrify him ; but awaking, he reflected 
that the gifts of God, though perilous, are never bad ; that to en- 
dow intelligence with such a faculty was to open fresh fields to 
wisdom and goodness, both alike divine. "So," said he, "I pro- 
ceeded witli my discovery." 

If Gutenberg could have forseen the extent to which 

his forebodings haA'e been justified, it would almost seem 

that he would indeed have wrecked his engine ere it was 

finished. But great as has been the mischief made possi- 

1»U'. the power of the press for good has been immensely 

greater. The church had the first opportunity, and although 


in inauy instances she failed to keep the lead, she has never 
been wholly distanced by the po^Yers of evil in the use of 
this mighty agency. The first impression made was of a 
Psalm. The highest art of the printer was expended upon 
the Holy Scriptures. The service of religion and the church 
seem to have almost monopolized the press in the early 
days, and it has continued to be in large measure the helper 
of all good and noble causes. 

But it was not until the beginning of the modern mis- 
sionary era that the immense power of the press as an 
evangelizing agency has become apparent. Dr. H. O. 
Dwight declares that, "Experience in the mission field has 
rediscovered the power of the press." The modern mis- 
sionary conquests would have been utterly impossible with- 
out this mighty force. 

It is ditlicult to estimate the part of the press in stimu- 
lating interest in missions, and in inaugurating the great 
modern movements. In 1792, Carey published his great 
"Inquiry," from which dates the beginning of his wonder- 
ful impression upon the cluu'ch. The next year the Evaii- 
f/eUcal Mcu/aziiic was founded. In 1791, in that magazine 
was published an address by Rev. David Bogue, of Gos- 
port, England, from which is traced the origin of the Lon- 
don IMissionary Society. In the same year were published 
"Letters on ^Missions, Addressed to the Protestant Minis- 
ters of IWltish Churches," which is diaracterized as one 
of the most powerful appeals that has ever appeared on 
tile subje<-t. 

The early flies of the Herald of Gospel LinERXY show 
numerous quotations from the missionary journals of that 
(lay. These tidings from afar, with the news of th(> prog- 
ress of the Gospel in strange and almost unheard-of lands, 
nnist have thrilled those who read with a new sense of 
the ]iow('r of the Christian religion. 

It is impossible to estimate the po\v<>r and influence of 
the missionary press in holding up to the ehnnlies of the 
home lands their opportunity and duty, and in promoting 
the intelligence and spirituality necessary for the great 
task of modern evangelical Christianity. The Blue Book 


of Missions for 1907 contains tlie names of nearly two 
hundred missionary publications for the home field, and 
the list is evidently incomplete. They probably place be- 
tween two and three hundred million pages of carefully 
prepared matter before their readers every year. Besides 
this, the entire religious press devotes a large amount of 
space to distinctly missionary topics. An enormous amount 
of other missionary matter, such as tracts, bulletins, re- 
ports, and an ever increasing volume of missionary books, 
is constantly being used in the missionary education of 
the churches. The new impulse to missionary publication 
given by the Student Volunteer Movement and the Young 
People's Missionary Movement has added immensely to 
this output. With all this, the churches are not yet fully 
aroused ; but the existence of this immense body of litera- 
ture is an indication that the time of awakening is at 

When we turn to the mission field, we see the real sig- 
nificance of the press as a factor in world evangelization. 
When Carey and Thomas began their work in India, the 
way seemed hedged up on every side. It was a tremendous 
task to find a way into the heart and life of the teeming 
millions of that great land. With little opportunity for 
direct evangelization, Carey turned his attention to the 
one method by which he could be sure to make at some 
time a permanent impression. lie began to translate the 
Scriptures, and page by page, as fast as the translation 
was completed, he printed the leaves which were to be for 
the healing of that mighty race. His press was a rude 
affair. The natives thought it was the Englishman's idol, 
and mistook his absorption in its handling for worship. The 
barren years in which he struggled against the active op- 
position of the English government in India, as well as 
the indifference and superstition of the natives, were not 
wasted years. In the beginnings of a Christian literature, 
he laid the foundations of Christian Missions in India so 
deep and solid that they could never be shaken. 

A similar story can be told of every great attack upon 
the stronghold of heathenism. The press has been the mighty 


ally, the indispensable helper, of the missionary. It is so 
powerful an agency in the spread of the Gospel that it is 
almost a question which is of the greater importance — the 
man, or the book. A new missionary arriving in Japan, 
and proposing to devote himself to literary work, provoked 
severe comment from zealous critics. His reply was, that 
with a people as intelligent as the Japanese, a black mis- 
sionary was as good as a white one. The Eskimos of 
Blacklead Island in Cumberland Sound could appreciate 
the power of the press, when they had mastered the won- 
derful principle of communicating by means of written 
and printed language. Said they: "Letters are as good 
as men, for they, too, can speak." 

The achievements of the printed page, entirely apart from 
any living teacher, have been most remarkable. Doctor 
Clough, of Nellore, tells of a band of robbers, which by 
some means became possessed of some Christian tracts. 
By reading these they became interested in Christianity, 
and soon twelve of their number presented themselves for 
baptism. Sir Bartle Frere relates that all the inhabitants 
of a remote village in Deccan abjured idolatry and caste, 
removed from their temples the idols which had been wor- 
shiped there time out of mind, and agreed to profess a 
form of Christianity which they had studied out for them- 
selves from a careful reading of n single Gospel and 
some tracts which had been left with them by accident. A 
merchant, who so far as was known, had never spoken 
of Christianity, and whose very name had been forgotten, 
bad given these books, with some old clothing and other 
cast off material to his servant. But his unconscious act 
had planted the religion for which he cared nothing in the 
lives of a whole village full. Dr. John W. Butler states 
that the work of evangelical missions in Mexico began 
with the colporteurs who followed the American army with 
the Bible in 1847 and 1848. The Book has gone ahead of 
the missionary and prepared the way. He gives one in- 
stance of the conversion of a man and his wife from the 
reading of a single tract, and the formation of five Chris- 
tian congregations through their influence. 


lu the evangelization of a litei'ary people, the Christian 
press is indispensable. The influence of the native heathen 
or unevangelical literature must be counteracted. India 
is to become a nation of readers. Public libraries are being 
established. Periodicals and books are appearing from the 
native press in immense nvimbers. The most powerful 
literary productions of the Western world are being trans- 
lated and circulated, and they are often of the most pro- 
nounced anti-Christian character. New classes are com- 
ing into possession of the keys of knowledge. Not so 
long ago men were asking in India : "Can you teach a 
donkey or a horse to read? If so, you may possibly teach 
a woman."" Now. it is estimated that over one million wo- 
wvu of India can read. If Gutenberg's dream is not to prove 
true fcr these newly awakened minds, the mission press must 
redoul)le its efforts, not only to awaken new minds, but 
to supply those already awakened with proper mental food. 

The same thing is true of other nations. Japan has a 
vigorous and powerful native press, and every kind of 
literature from Europe and America is finding circulation 
there. China is a literary nation, and her cry for Bibles 
and Christian literature is taxing the mission press to the 
utmost. The heart-breaking fact is that the missionaries 
cannot supply the needs of these people. Some one ob- 
serving their anxiety in the face of the insistent demand, 
proposes that an organization to help supply this demand 
might be called a "Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Missionaries." 

The indirect influence of the Christian press upon the 
native press is not to be overlooked. The presence of a 
vigorous and pure Christian periodical literature cannot 
fail to profoundly influence all other publications in the 
country where it circulates. 

The most remarkable demonstration of the power of the 
press, however, is its influence in creating a new civilization 
among barbarous and savage races. The translation of the 
Bible into between four and five hundred languages and 
dialects, means that hundreds of races have been given the 
opportunity of participating in the best opportunities for 


education and development that the world possesses. Not 
only so, but the power of the missionary is increased many 
hundredfold. The native convert, by means of the book 
placed in his hand, can become a teacher. In Uganda, to 
become a Christian and a reader are synonymous terms. 

Statistics give but a vague idea of the immense activity 
and importance of the mission press. Each j'ear there are 
circulated in heathen countries two million, five hundred 
thousand Bibles and portions. The various tract societies 
put out fourteen million, five hmidred thousand copies of 
their publications yearly. The mission publishing houses 
circulate annually besides, ten million, five hundred thoii- 
sand copies. Three hundred and sixty-siX periodicals are 
published in the mission fields, with an annual average 
circulaiion of nearly three hundred thousand copies. 

The great work is but just begun. The church nmst 
make increasing use of this mighty force, both at home and 
abroad. "The great missionary weapon of the Twentieth 
Century must be a literature, saturated with the (Jospel 
and efficient in the proclamation of the Christ." 


nKV J. 0. ATKINSON, D. D. 




One bnudred years ago, /. e., September 1, 1808, the first re- 
ligious newspaper was issued, by Elias Smitb, from a press 
in Portsmoutb, New Hampshire. Our own Christian 
denomination, as is now well known and established, fath- 
ered that enter])rise. And the paper Elias Smith issued is 
still being published as our own general chiirch organ under 
the title, with which all of you are well acquainted, Tlie 
Herald of Gospel Liberty: thus making our Herald the 
oldest religious newspaper in the world. 

At that time there were newsi)apei's in plenty, but prior 
to that time it was not thought that the religious idea was 
sufficiently interesting and popular to give a man enough to 
write about each week, and enough subscribers to support him 
in what lie did write. I mean liy tliis that religion and 
religious ideas, were not sufficiently popular to make weekly 
discussions worthy of interest and support. For, remember, 
at this time Thomas Jefferson, the third in succession to 
fill that office, was President of the T'nited States ; that 
even then a tide of French atheism was sweeping our 
land and country and that yoimg men, in the old field 
schools, had as one of their queries in debate on Friday 
nights, "Resolved that there is no God." Remember, that 
this was four years before Adoniram Judsoii and liis four 
associates were sent out as pioneer missionaries to India, 
and were ordered to return on the same ship l»y which they 
reached their destination (1812). Remember, that the doors 
of China and .Tapan were closed then to missionaries. Re- 
member, that prior to that time there was not a collegiate 
institution for women in all our land, and that in this 

* Doctor .-Vtkinson w.-is invited to (iil<e ii;ir( in the celebration 
of tlie Cpiitriinidl of Rrlif/ioiif! Journulishi . \\\\\ liiMng unable to 
1)6 ]n-esenT. be prepared this address. Dcjriur .Mlcinson is editor 
of tbe Chrififidu !<iiii, Elon r'ollese. X. C. 


very year Mrs. Emma Willard opened a school for young 
women at Middleburg, Vt., out of which grew, many years 
hiter, Mount Holyoke at South Hadley, Mass. (1837). 
Remember, that independent, or state colleges and universi- 
ties were doing the worii of higher education, and that the 
church college, as such, had not then come into existence. 
Remember, will you, that there were no railroads, no 
steamships, and consequently very poor mailing and postal 
facilities. That was a hundred years ago, when the re- 
ligious newspaper was born. 

This, of our Herald of Gospel Liberty, was a small be- 
ginning, it was a modest and unpretentious sheet. It came 
to herald a truth, and as the eternal years belong to truth, 
it began its career, not under impulse, nor with the blast 
of trumpets, but modestly, quietly, industriously, unassum- 
ingly. So of all great world movements. They come un- 
honored, unsung, without noise and with little preten- 
sions. The world itself, and light, and life, and order, 
grew out of a word calmly and quietly spoken — "Let there 
be light and there was light." The heavenly choir sang 
of the Redeemer's advent 'tis true, but the governor of the 
Province, nay, not even the guard of the town, knew where 
the Christ was born. Small beginning that, without ti'um- 
pets, without tumult, without triumphal train. Our Ameri- 
can Independence was born, not amid the smoke of muskets 
at Lexington, not on the blood-stained field at Concord, nor 
at Valley Forge, nor yet at Yorktown, but by the quiet 
firesides of patriots' homes and peasants' cottages. 

All great world events, issues, epochs and movements had 
small beginnings, modest advent, humble origin. So like- 
wise this of the religious journal. 

Now after the brief expanse of one hundred years, what? 
I shall not be able to tell yon in these thirty minutes, but 
by brief comparisons some poor idea may be had. A 
hundred j'ears ago one religious newspaper with some few 
score readers. How stands the matter now? 

In 1907 there were in the United States alone, 796 re- 
ligious periodicals. The combined circulation of these last 
year was 15,269,067. Of these 796 distinct periodicals, two 


bad a circulation eacli of 500,000. Six had a circulation 
each of 400,000; eight had a circulation each of 250,000; 
seventeen had a circulation each of 200,000 ; thirty-seven 
had a circulation each of 100,000 ; forty-five had a circula- 
tion each of 50,000 ; one hundred and thirty-seven had a 
circulation each of 20,000. 

It is usual to multiplj' the number of subscribers by flvo 
to get the number of readers. This, however, would not 
be safe in estimating readers of religious papers, since 
several are taken by single subscribers. It is safe to 
measure by two and a half. Doing this we have between 
35,000,000 and 40,000,000 people, one half of our entire popu- 
lation, touched and influenced by religious periodicals. 

Counting these by mere numbers, how is this for a world 
movement, a truly great matter of humble origin and small 
beginning? One hundred years only a few score touched 
by our one single religious paper ; to-day when the popu- 
lation has multiplied, compounded, and multiplied many 
times over again, one half of all this multitude touched 
each week by some of the 790 religious periodicals. 

But these figures only tell the smaller side, the physical, 
the mechanical, of a hundred years of religious joiumalism. 
^Iny I invite you to larger considerations of the religious 
iK'wspaiier and what it has done, and helped to do, in these 
hundred years? I told you awhile ago that higher educa- 
tion a hundred years ago was intrusted almost, if not en- 
tirely, to private, independent, and state institutions. There 
are to-day 450 higher institutions of learning in the United 
States. Of this number 5-9, or 2.50, are under the control 
of some l>ranch of the Christian Church ; while 4-9, or 200, 
are state, or independent, institutions. Now the great ma- 
jority of students in these schools come from Christian 
homes. These 250 Christian institutions are in many in- 
stances largely endowed, or supported by the contributions 
;ind gifts of Christian people. The religious newspaper, 
ill iiHist instances, made these institutions possible, sounded 
the Imgle blast that called them to life and to activity, and 


ill almost every instance brouglit tlieir endowment into 

Tlie religions newspaper has always been the voice cry- 
ing in the wilderness ; "Make straight the path to higher, 
and to Christian education." Take away from our church 
colleges, and religious institutions, the part that the re- 
ligious paper has played, and a large part of their glory 
is gone. I can best illustrate this idea bj^ reference to our 
own history, that as touching our own Elon College and 
our chiux-h paper, The Christian Sun. I can refer to this 
with boldness and without apology, for then I had no part 
in it all. 

If you will refer to the columns of The Christian Sun 
from 1S85 to 1890 you will see where the idea of ouv church 
college was fought out, won its splendid victory, and caioe 
into happy existence. By reference to these columns, writ 
out in courageous manhood, and given to the world in a 
l)0ldness of a righteous cause, you will see that the Elon 
idea was not as popular then as now. ^len doubted if our 
Christian cause and church could build, much less maintain, 
a denominational college. Some even doubted if we had 
the students to patronize it, much less the money to build 
it. Some said the idea was selfish and meager and MEAN. 
But what of your Christian Sun editor, and the faithful 
ones whose ideas and hopes he championed and nourished? 
If you care to know, come to the flies in the Christian Sun 
ortice and they will tell you a story that you may not know, 
and of a heroic effort, and enterprise that you may have 
forgotten. (The brave, good man who wrote these burning 
editorials, stirring a lethargic and intellectually indifferent 
pc^ople to action and to an educational awakening is present 
in this conference and by the grace of God is with us to- 

The religious paper has always stood for the best and 
liighest in educational pursuits, in moral and mental de- 
velopment. And the history of The Christian Sun as touch- 
ing Elon College is the history in epitome of the religious 
newspaper as touching higher and Christian ediication. 
Take away from your church college the labor and effort 


of your clmrcli paper, and the glory and success of the 
former is iinthiDkable. 

I have told you of only one of a whole category of causes 
and ideas the religious newspaper has stood for, made 
possible and developed in these hundred years of its honor- 
able history and glorious record. I could fill out this half 
hour in telling of others no less obvious and no less potent. 
Almost every orphanage in all this broad land, (and thank 
(lod tlieir number and usefulness are nuiltiplying daily,) 
was championed first by some church or religio\;s news- 
pajior, and its idea forced home to fruition by the agitation, 
plea and jievsuasion of the editor and those who stood with 
him for this cause of Christian charity. (You cannot think 
of our Christian Orphanage without thinking of The Gltris- 
tian >S'/n;.) When famine comes, earthquakes destroy, or 
tire and flood render thousands homeless, the voice of the 
religious editor is among the first to be heard for succor and 

Plrethren. if I talk in these general tei'ms I fear you 
do noi get the force and fact beneath and ])ehind it all. 
I will, therefore, give you one concrete example: one in-- 
stance of the usefulness and influence of a religious news- 
l>aper whose labor is personal, definite, specific, and whose 
usefulness is demonstrated even to the superficial mind, 
or even to the unthinking. . . . TJie Christian Ilcrulil 
of New York is one impressive illustration of the force 
of the religious paper in the field of human suffering. In 
tifteen years, this journal with the aid of a large number 
of readers, numbering over a million, has expended in 
various cjiarities and benevolences, a grand total of over 
.S."!.7."<),<!(:n. l<"ov ten years it has maintained the Bowery 
Mission. Ne.nrly every sunnner it feeds over an average 
of .".o.dud waifs. In 1904, it sent $30,000 to the Macedonian 
snffei-ci's : in 1900, .^2.j0,000 to the famine stricken suft'erers 
in .Ia]ian: in 19<J7, $50,000 to the famine suffei'ers in China. 
In ilie siiring of 1908, the Herald increased the bread line 
of I lie I>owery Mission to 2,000 nightly. 

Tlie mention of this siiocific case is valuable, chiefly, as 
showing the spirit of the religious press, and as suggestive 


of the fact that, all throughout this great coimtry, the 
religious newspaper is keeping the great national heart re- 
sponsive to the cries of need and want and suffering. 

And yet if I were to ask the name of the greatest and 
most powerful religious newspaper in New York, 1 should 
certainly not name The (Jhristiun Herald. Its work is on 
the surface. It reaps a harvest that others have sown. 
The New York Ghristian Advocate, The Christian Observer, 
and dozens of others, have labored and do labor to make 
possible the specific work of The Christian Herald. Who 
taught people to love and care for missions, so that the 
Herald could collect its thousands for mission purposes? 
It was the church organ. (A general religious paper versus 
church paper.) The church paper makes possible great 
ideas and higher spiritual notions. 

Rut I weary you with detail. Examples multiply and so 
become commonplace and tedious. 

The religious paper stands for the religious idea in the 

home, in the community, in the state. This is why it has 

achieved so marvelously since Elias Smith labored, in pain 

and in travail, till a great world movement was born. The 

deep of luunauity's soul cried out to tlie deep of his great 

heart, and a world-idea was the answer to the cry, and the 

challenge. At the fountain of all our history, of all our achieve- 

ni'Mit". of all our being is the religious idea and Elias 

Sniitli. a hundred years ago, dared to champion in the 

]iul»lic arena, the call and cause of that idea. It was the 

(iernian writer. Max Muller, who said: 

Tci my minrt the great epochs in the worhl's history are marked 
nut by tlie founding, nor by the destruction of empires ; by 
migration of races, or by French Revolutions. The real history 
of man is the history of religion. That is the foundation that 
underlies all profane history ; it is tlie light, the life, the soul 
of history ; without it all history %YOuld be profane. 

Max Muller was right, and the great Guizot is right 

wlien he declares "that all political and social questions 

refer for tlieir ultimate solution, to the religious principle.'" 

It was as the bold champion of this basic principle, this 

fundamental of all ideas, that P^lias Smith stands before 

us and challenges the admiration of men, the wonder of 


angels, and the plaudits of a religious race. When this is 
said, all is told. The religious idea is made proroinent 
and the fundamental principle of civilization is laid bare 
and boldly championed. Why need I tell now of a hundred 
years of Christian missions, a hundred years of Christian 
philanthropy, of a hundred years of increasing fellowshij) 
and ever deepening brotherly love? When religious journal- 
ism, with the sword of faith, strucli the rock of God's 
eternal truth, these all leaped forth to make a new world 
and create a new race of men. I would have to trace each 
and all of these to tell the full story of a hundred years of 
religious journalism, for these came forth as the children 
or co-laborers, of the idea of publicity of religious notions, 
conceptions and ambitions. I do not claim that the re- 
ligious newspaper created these ; I do not claim, for facts 
claim and history proves, that the religious newspaper was 
the forerunner of, and gave birth to, the idea that made 
these possible. Hear me then : Till the religious idea was 
brought into the broad light of day by discussion and 
publicity in the religious newspaper, you had no foreign 
missions. Until men dared fling their notions of world 
evangelization into the arena of public gaze and public 
discussion, through the medium of the religious newspaper, 
there was in the world no conception, and no plan of 
world evangelization. Until men dared champion in public 
print, of the religious newspaper, the idea of denomina- 
tional schools, there were no church colleges. Any idea 
championed in i)ublic speech and print becomes more force- 
ful, more fruitful. 

I have another word. Somehow the idea has gone to 
a few, albeit, to the unthinking and to the unknowing, that 
the religious newspaper has almost run its course; that 
before the modern immense and ever-increasing and all- 
devouring daily, the religious weekly is giving way and 
must ultimately go down. Unfaltering figures declare 
otherwise, and in this year of grace, 1908, the outlook 
for the religious newspaper is brighter than ever in all 
the past. Let us see. In 1900 there were 80.3 religious 
newspapers. In 1907, there were only 796. In 1900, the 


803 religious papers bad a combined circulation of 11,717,- 
887 ; in lfMJ7 tbe circulation was 15,2G9,0G7 — a gain in cir- 
culation in seven years of 3,551,18(3, or an increase of over 
.".() per cent. — even greater tban tbe increase in our ever 
rapidly increasing poiailation. 

In tbe state of Nortli Carolina; tbe aggregate circulation 
of religious newspapers in lOUO was 48,810; in 1907 it was 
(it),741 — an increase of over 40 per cent. And I need not 
go so far afield for figures. In tbese seven years our 
own ClirlstUni tSttii bas increased nearly 50 per cent, in 
circulation and our HeruhJ of Gospel Liberty nearly 50 per 

Tbere are about 35,000,000 cliurcb members in the United 
States. I bave already sbown tbat tbere are about •10,00t),- 
0(tO readers of religious liewspapers. Tbus tbe field of tbe 
religious newspaper is a broad one, even taking in more 
in numbers than cburcb members' family. 

I sometimes approach a member of our cburcb and ask 
him to take into bis home, and tbe circle of bis reading, 
bis cburcb paper. He replies, "I am already taking more 
papers tban I read." He means by tbat bis daily paper 
and bis county paper. Tbese carry him news of church 
and conmiunity and state ! That man mistakes my motive, 
misinterprets my mission. I am asking him to take hold 
of an idea born of God, sent by heaven, championed by tbe 
bravest, and best of scholars and of men. Instead be is con- 
tented with the "news." I am asking him to take bread 
for Ills and his family's soul ; be tells me be is contented 
instead to see men in the world throw stones at each other. 
1 am asking him to touch the fotmtain of (iod's deep; be 
tells me be Is contented to hear tbe babel of men's lusts 
and jtassions and crimes. I ask him lo turn aside now and 
then to read and think on things that prepare for eternity 
and God's future ; he tells me he is absorbed now in the 
crimes of his age, tbe murders of bis race and the blood 
of his fellowmen. Ob, my brother. I am seeking, God 
knows I am, to carry you a message of hope, and of cheei' 
and of light and of life beyond tbe stars. 


If you are a member of the Christian Cliurch and do not 
talve jj'our own church paper, you may deem it a light and 
indifferent matter. God liuows tlie motive that prompted 
Elias Smitli to ans^Yer the call of a great world idea. He 
knows the motive, the hope, the ambition that have 
])rompted all who have followed Elias Smith, to labor at 
the desk and toil at the pen and the press of the religious 
newspaper in this hundred years of its honorable history. 
That motive has always been, is to-day, to teach the noblest 
and the best in church and home and state. 



Minutes of the Centennial of Religious Journalism 

Under the auspices of the Christian Publishing Association, 
delegates, visitors and friends met at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 
September I'.th to 17th. lOOS, to cele1)r.-ite the One Hundredth 
Anniversary of the Herald of Gospel LibertTj tne first religious 
newspaper 'ever published. Judge O. W. Whitelock, of Indiana. 
President of the Christian Publishing Association, presided as 
chairman, and Rev. Carl.vle Summerbell, of Massachusetts, served 
as secretarv. The committee on celebration, consisting of Judge 
(). W. Whitelock. cliairn'mi. l!i"-. T. S. Weeks, i.'ev. \V. W. Stalcv, 
D. D., Rev. A. H. Morrill, D. D., and Rev. D. B. Atkinson, A. M.. 
had prepared a program which was mostly carried out as arranged. 
Citizens from ten states and Canada represented the different 
portions of the brotherhood. 

The first session was held Tuesday evening, September 15th iu 
the Court Street Christian Church. Devotional Exercises were 
conducted by Rev. H. J. Rhodes. Addresses of welconie were made 
tiv Rev. F. H. Carlner. Dastor of the Court Street Christian 
Church, Rev. Lucius H. Thayer, President of the Portsmouth 
Ministerial Association. His Honor, Mayor Hackett, of Ports 
mouth, and Rev. A. H. ^lorrill, D. D., President of the New 
England Christian Convention, on behalf of the respective interests 
with which they were connected. The singing of the Centennial 
Anthem composed liy Rev. C. V. Strickland followed, after which 
a Response to Addresses of We'come was given by Hon. O. W. 
Whitelock. President of the Christian Publishing Association. 
Benediction by the venerable C. t. Sniifi'. 

On Wednesday, September 16, at 9 : 00 a. m., the meeting 
convened in the Methodist church. Rev. L. B. Hess conducted the 
devotional exercises. Rev. F. H. Peters delivered an address. 
■■I'hc Rclifiious: P'ress, the Exponent of Relif/oiia Freedom." Mr. 
S. 1). Cordon, representing the , Siindai/ School Times, spoke on the 
'■T.niic Metal at Its Best." Amos R. Wells, editor of the Ghristia7i 
I-J:i(learor World, represented that paper and spoke upon "Religious 
Journalism for Youn;; People." Rev. A. C. Youmans, A. B., B. D., 
spoke upon "The Moral Inflnencb of RcUoious Journalism." Bene- 
diction I'V the venerable (\ H. Roby. 

The session of "Wednesday afternoon was held in the Unitarian 
church, and Rev. H. W. McCrone had charge of the devotional 
service. An address by Rev. G. C. Waterman, representing "The 
Morning Star," gave a history of Free-Baptist Journalism. Rev. 
Jos. S. Swaim. editor of The Watchman, spoke concerning "The 
Development of Baptist Journalism." A historical address, "The 
Herald of Gospel Lihertii" was then delivered by Rev. D. B. At- 
kinson, A. M. Prof. J. N. Dales spoke upon, "Other Denominational 
I'lihlications." Bcpediction by Rev. H. .T. Rho'es. 

On Wednesday evening the session was held in the Congregational 
church, and Rev. M. D. Wolfe conducted the devotional services, 
Rev. ^r. Summerbell. D. D., spoke upon "The Educational Jnfli/cnrr 
of Religious Journalism," and Rev. W. W. Staley, upon the 
"Principles and Progress of Religious Liberty." Benediction by 
Rev. O. J. Hancock. 

Thursday morning, September 17, the meeting convened in the 
Universalist church and the devotional services were conducted 
l)V Rev. Z Knight. Rev. .V.. .T. Xorthrup. representing "Zi<iii'-< 
Herald" discussed "Methodist Journalism." "The Christian 


Register" was represented by Rev. Alfred Gooding, who gave 
a historical sketch of Unitarian Journalism. The Universalist fel- 
lowship was represented by Rev. Anson Titus who presented a 
historical discussion of religious journalism in that communion. 
A hymn by Rev. Edward Clark Hall, appropriate for the occasion, 
was sung by Rev. Harry J. Rhodes. An address, "The Genius of 
the Christian Movement" was delivered by Rev. .T. Pressley Barrett, 
editor of the Herald of Gospel Liberty. After this an informal 
discussion and conference was held ^in which the following 
brethren took part : Honsberger, Skinner, Gardner, r^eighton, Hovey, 
Atkinson, Staley and Dales. Benediction. 

In the Court Street Christian church the lasr session of the cele- 
bration was held Thurs'lay afternoon, the devotional services being in 
charge of Rev, H. A. Smith, A. M. Address, "Fellowship in 
Journalism," was delivered by Rev. J. .T. Summerbell, D. D. The 
Convention Hymn composed by Rev. T. S. Weeks was sung by 
the congregation, led by Rev. A. H. Morrill, D. D. 

Rev. O. W. Powers, D. D., then gave an address "The Press 
( ntl Missions." 

'rii(> following resolutions were presented by Rev. A. II. Morrill. 
I>. 1>.. and unanimously adopted. 

Whereas, the Christian Publishing Association, through its 
trustees, have planned and carried out a celebration known as 
"The Centennial op Religiocs Journalism'' in Portsmouth, 
N. II., the city in which the Herald of Gospel Liberty was firsr 
issued, September 1, 180S, in the accomplishment of which there 
has. been cheerful co-operation from various sources, therefore 
in order to express suitable appreciation of the same, be it 

Resolved, That we, the delegates and attendants upon these services, 
return hearty thanks to the brethren of other denominations and 
publications for their presence, and the papers and addresses 
which they have given us, ministering so much to the success of 
this celebration. 

Resolved, Tliat our hearty expression of appreciation is due, 
and hereby cheerfully given to the pastors and friends of the 
Christian churches of Portsmouth, Rye and Kittery for their 
hospitality and assiduous efforts for our comfort and enjoyment 
during our attendance upon this Centennial, 

Resolved, That our thanks are due and cheerfully extended to 
the pastors and officials of the Methodist E'jisc > );i!, I'Tiitarian, 
Congregational and Universalist churches for their participatio i 
and interest in this celebration, manifested by C e'r welcome t'l 
their cliurch edifices for services in connection with this Centennial 

Resolved, That we express our appreciation to the local and 
Associated Press for the reports of this gathering. 

Resolved. That we thank His Honor, Wallace llnckott. Mayor of 
this city, for his presence and address of welcome at our opening 

Resolved, That we express appreciation to the Boston and 
Maine Railroad for reduced rates to persons attending the 

The Chairman brought greetings from the Secretary of the 
Christian Publishing Association, Rev. Henry Crampton. Also 
the Rev. Warren H. Denison, Secretary of the Mission Board ol 
the Christian Church, sent regrets at not being permitted to attend 
the celebration and hopes for the continued success of the 
Herald. Kind expressions of like import were also given on be- 
half of Rev. C. V. Strickland. 



After singing tlie doxology, and benediction by Carlyle Sum- 
mer))ell, tbe Centennial came to a close witb tbe fraternal spirit 
of true Obristians abounding and the blessing of tlie Heavenly 
Father resting upon all. 

O. W. WiiiTELOCK, Chairman. 
Caklvli: ^U-MMEitBELL. Secretary. 



Rev. Elias Smith 

Explanatory Note 

A very larse part of this liibliography has been compiled by 
Rev. Ansou Titus, D. D., editor of the Uiiiversalist Register, 
Boston, Mass., who has liindly and with a scholar's instinct 
devoted much time to searching the libraries of Boston and neigh- 
boring cities, discovering- much valuable matter in existence, not 
generally known, relative to the writings and publications of 
Rev. Elias Smith. Dr. Titus's efforts have been supplemented by 
the researches of others. %\-ho have been able to add considerable 
data, thus giving us a tolerably complete conspectus of the re- 
marliable literary activity of jSIr. Smith, and locating material 
ujion which a ftiture biographer may draw to give us a complete 
.account of -Mr. Smith's life and writings. .Some of Dr. Titus's 
explanatory notes were enclosed in brackets ; and all of the matter 
gathered by others has been so indicated. 

The editor of this volume wishes to acknowledge his special 
delit to Dr. Titus, and to Rev. M. T. ^Morrill for special assistance, 
and his further obligations to those who have helped to make 
this bibliography adequate for practical purposes. There are 
doubtless many copies of Elias Smith's works in other libraries 
and private possession ; and the editor hereby invites further 
contributions from any persons willing to give the same toward 
a fuller bibliography and list of places where material may be 

Itev. Elias Smith's life and achievements concern more than 
the people of the Christian denomination, as he wrought a good 
I)art toward the religious freedom in which all denominations 
now share and rejoice. The New England newspapers chronicled 
his death, .Tune 29, 184fi, and spoke of him as "formerly a well- 
known in-eacher of several deniMuinations." 

.1. P. B. 

List of Libraries 

[A. C. L. — Antioch Lilinu-y.] 
B. A. — Boston Atheoeum. 

B. P. L. — Boston I'nblic Ubrary. 

C. L. — Congregational library. Boston. 
H. C. L. — Harvard Collese Lil)rary. 
T. C. L. — Tufts College Liltrary. 

r. II. Ij. — Universalist Historical Library. 

N. E. H. (i. S. — New lOngland Ilist. and (ien. Society. Boston. 
[R. Coll. — Roberts Collection, Cbristian I'lililisbing Associa- 
tion. Dayton, O,] 

I K, C. C. L. — Kansas Christian ('ollege Library.! 
[C. P. A. — Christian Piililishing Association.] 


List of Elias Smitli s Writings 

The Clergyman's Looking Glass. The main pillar of auti- 
Clirisf s kingdom shaken, and the folly of Jannes made manifest : 
being an examination of Mr. [ ] Osgood's arguments in 

favor of the anti-Christian practice of sprinkling children, under 
pretense of baptizing them. Boston. Printed for the author, 
1804. 36 pp., 12 mo. B. P. L. 

No. 4. Examination of D — Osgood on "Sprinkling." Boston^ 
1804. No. 1. Second Kdition, Portsmouth, 1803. B. A., H. C. L. 

Five Letters loith Remarks. Boston, 1804. pp. 36. C. L. 

A Reply to "Hoio Shall I Know that I am. Born Again." Bos- 
ton, 1804. pp. 36. B. A. 

Daniel Humphreys, born 1740, died 1827, published a "Letter to 
Elias Smith on Ma late performance entitled 'A Reply to this 
Congregational-Methodistical question: Why can you not commune 
with us, seeing ice are willing to commune with you?'" Ports- 
mouth, printed by W. and D. Treadwell, 1804. pp. 23, 12 mo. 
B. P. L. 

■■?>*-"■"-- Letter to Daniel Humphreys, Sandciiiuniun Teacher. Ports 

' mouth, 1804. [Imperfect] B. A. 

[Daniel Humphreys, Esq., was the son of Rev. Daniel Hum- 
phreys, Derby, Conn. He was of Yale College, 1757. He was a 
schoolmaster in New York City, and at close of Revolutionary 
War removed to Portsmouth, N. H. He was a teacher of the 
little flock of Sandemanians in Portsmouth for a long series of 
years. Pie died Sept. 30, 1827. aged 87 years.] 

The Light not Clear nor Dark. Discourse, Hopkinton, Sept. 5, 
1804. Boston, 1803. B. A. 

The Whole World Ooverned by a Jew: or the Government of 
the Second Adam, as King and Priest. Exeter, 1805. pp. 84. 
B. A. 

[Rev. .7. F. Burnett, D. D., Dayton, O., has one copy in his 


Ovicjimil and Selected for the Use of Christians. 1805, 
[Aljner Jones and Elias Smith.] 

Siiiitli (iiid Jones' Hijinn Boole. Seventh Edition [ISIG], a 
small, neat pocket volume. ifl.OO. [ Edition 1805, Port- 

Tlic Doctrine of the Prince of Peace and His Servants. Con- 
cerning the end of the wiclied, contrasted witli the doctrines of 
the prince of this world, and liis servants, upon the same sub.iect ; 
proving that the doctrines of the Universalists and Calvinists are 
not tlie doctrines of .Jesus Christ and the ai»»stles. Review of 
Samuel Sliepherd. I'rinted at Boston. Sold by the author [etc.] 
in Portsmouth. 4.S pp., 12 mo. ISO.".. P.. P. L.. B. A., PI. C. L. 

The Christian's Magazine, Reviewer and Belig'ious Intelligeneer: 
consisting of subjects Historical, Doctrinal, Experimental, Prac- 
tical and Poetical. Portsmouth, 1805. Vol. 1 : 1-5. C. L. [Vol. 
1. No. 1. R. Coll.] [Vol. 1, No. ?,. in the Library of Rev. .1. F. 
Burnett. D. D., Dayton, O.] 

Tlic Man in the Smoke, and a Friend Endeavoring to Help Him 
Out, etc. Remarks on T. Baldwin's Sermon — The Purpose of God. 
1805. pp. .36. B. A.. C. L. 

[TJie Day of Judgment. A sermon, 1805.] 

\Biscourse on the Resurreetion. 1806.] 

1-1 Letter to .Vr. E. P. Sahiu. 180(;.] 

"~"~r77(e Age of Euiiuiiii. Chrisfiau's Poel<et Companion and Daily 
Assistant: Calculated also for the Benefit of the Rising Genera- 
tion, in Leaving them the Trutli. By Elias Smith. Him shall ye 
hear in all things. — Peter. Train up a child in the way he should 
go. — Soloniiin, Exeter. 1S(I7. pp. 154. K. Coll.] 

[A Sermon on Veiy Testament Baptism. 1807.] 

Herald of Gospel Liherti/. By Elias Smith. 1808-1817. Only 
a partial set in Boston Public Library. Card Catalogue has this 
conuuent. "Probably the first religious paper published in Amer- 
ica." Practically complete file in II. C. L. 1808-1811, three 
volumes in one, C. L. 

[1810-181.3, four volvniies in one. R. Coll.] 

[1808-1813. six volumes in one. C. P. A.] 

[1808-1814, seven volumes in one. K. C. C. L., A. C. L.] 


[Vol. 8, No. 2, :uKl Vol. 8, Aug., 181(j-0ct.. 1M17, bound, in the 
Library of Rev. J. F. Hurnett, D. D.. Dayton. O. I 

— ^Three »S'cr)»oyy s- fin JJhcl imi . descTibiuj;- the ICIciiion of ("lirist: 
Angels: ratriarcli.-^ : Xalion of .lews: I'l-oitbcts : Apostles: Saints. 
[Exeter, 1808. pii. !.!<;. Small pocket volume. | P.. 1'. I.. 
|R. Coll.] H. C. L. 

t^CDiions ('oiitninhui <iii llhist inlimi nf lln- I'lnjihcciix to he 
AccomiJlisJied from the I'rcsinl Time liitil llic \i'ir II m reus diiil 
Earth are Created, iclieii all the I'miiUecirs irill h, l-itltilUil. 
1808. Kxeter, 12 nio.. pp. ;!(»(). r. II. S. | K. Coll.. :; coiiies. | 

The LariiKj Kiiidnes-s uf (lotJ. I)isiilaii<(l in tli< 'rriin/iiih of 
Republieaiiisiii in ADieiiea. being- a discourse at Taunton f.Mass.l, 
July 4th. 1800. pp. :!(!. 12 mo. B. 1'. T,.. P.. A. 

Diseoiirse uii Ooreriiiiieiit ami l\'eli<ii'iii. (Iray, Mc.. .luly 4. 

1810. Portland. 12 mo. P,. A. 

The Histonj of Aiiti-Clirist. I'ortland, Herald Printing Offlce, 

1811. 120 pp. 24 mo. B. P. L. 

New Testament Dictionary, containing the New Testament mean- 
ing of 108 words ; pocket voUime, $1.00. 

""' [A NeiD Testament Dietionary. By Biias Smith. "Understand 
est thou what thou readest?" "How can T, except some man 
should gviide me?" — Acts. Philadelphia. Printed and sold by 
the author. 1812. It. Coll. 2 copies.] 

^ |.l yen- Testament Dictionary. Originally written by Elias 
Smith. Now revised with additions, etc., by Robert Foster. To 
which is added a Brief History of Our Savior, and the Lires. 
Sufferinux <'iid Mart yrdoni of the Apostles, etc. "Search the 
Scriptures." Portsmoutli: christian Herald offlce. 1832. R. Coll.] 

Philadelyliia County Christiati Church. | Circular, account of the 
withdrawal of S[mith] from tlie Cliurch. Philadelphia. 1813. 
B. A. 

A Small Volume of Hymns just jmblished. entitled. Songs of 
the Redeemed, for the Followers of the Lord. [Ante 1816.] 

Volume of Seimons: Sermons in Pamphlets on various sub- 
.iects, etc., etc. [Ante 1810.] 

•The Life. Conrersion. I'reacJdin/. Trarcis anil Suffcrinys iif 
Elias Smith, written bv himself. And lliou sliall rememlier all 


thy way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in 
the wilderness. — Deut. 8 : 2. Gather up the fragments that 
remain that nothing be lost. — John 6 : 12. Vol. I, Portsmouth, 
N. H. Printed by Beck and Foster ; sold by the author, No. 2, 
Ladd St., and James P. Shores, No. 1 Market Street, and by 
Christian preachers in the Ignited States and the book stalls. 
1816. Quarto. 406 pp. N. E. II. G. S., T. C. L., U. H. S., B. P. L. 
two copies. [R. Coll., 2 copies, one the edition of 1840. Back fly leaves 
advertise vegetable medicines. Rev. J. J. Summerbell, D. D., Dayton, 
O., has a copy in his library, revised in 1840, and Mrs. Emily 
Parker, Woodstock, Vt., has a copy of the first edition.] 

Edition of 1840, with portrait. H. C. L. [TTiere are several 
pages additional to edition of 1816, mentioning that he resided 
in Boston from June, 1816 : and his design to publish a second 
volume, containing autobiography from 1817 to date. He became 
once more a member of the Christian Church in Portsmouth, Feb. 
20, 1840, and once more a minister in their fellowship. He resided 
for the most part, between 1840 and 1846, in Providence, at the 
home of a daughter. He died however in Lynn, June 29, 1846. — 
Anson Titus.] 

Letters of J. Rand to [Elias] Smith. Examination of his 
thirteen reasons for believing the salvation of all men. Danville. 
1818. B. A. [R. Coll.] 

The Judgment of This World: The Prince of this World Cast 
Out : and all Men Drawn to Christ. 1819. 12 mo. pp. 13. U. 
H. L. 

Herald of Life and Immortality. Vol. I. B. A. 

[This was a quarterly magazine and had eight issues from 
January, 1819, to October, 1820, making one volume, with an 
index. pp. 288. The Herald of Life advocated phases of 
religious doctrines accepted by many Universalists. Elias Smith 
maintained his own way and manner of advocacy of whatever 
doctrine he was at the time most interested in. He was an 
original man, unique in character and delighted in being in 
the public eye. In spite of his theological wanderings, he held to 
the Bible, as its own and best interpreter.] 

A Sermon on Neiuchadneszar's Dream on the Image of Oold, 
Silrer, Brass, Iron and Clay, and the Stone tvhich Ground the 
Image to Ponder. Delivered in Boston, May 4, 1820. 12 mo. 
pp. 40. T. C. L., B. A., C. L., B. P. L. 

A Collection of Hymns for the Use of CJiristians. Elias Smith, 
compiler. Boston. Printed and sold by Planning and Loring. 
[180~] pp. 72. B. P. L. 


[Extract of a Letter froxi Elder Elias Smith to Elder Elijah 
Shaw, Jr., dated Boston, Nov. 15, 1826. Gospel Luminary, West 
Bloomfleld, N. Y., Jan., 1827. R. Coll. and Library of Rev. J. 
F. Burnett, D. D., Dayton, O.] 

Seniion in the Morning Star and City Watchman. Vol. II, 
No. 0. 1829. B. A. 

[A Brief Review of Tiro yuniTjcr.^ of Elder E. Smith's Periodical 
(■'The Morning Star and Citii Watchman" \ appears in The Gospel 
Luminary, West Bloomfleld, N. Y., Aug., 1827. R. Coll. Library 
of Rev. J. F. Burnett, D. D., Dayton, O.] 

[Letter from Elias Sniith to Joseph Badger, editor of "The 
Christian Palladium," published at Union Mills, N. Y., in the 
issue of October 2, 1837, Vol. 6. No. 11, page 170. R. Coll.] 

The medical publications of Elias Smith are beyond our knowl- 
edge. There were many editions. Mr. Smith traveled much, 
lecturing upon his system of medicine, sold his books, and preached 
as many Sundays as he could, in whatever pulpit chanced 
to he vacant, or into which he was invited. He was well-known 
throughout his circuits. He had a controversy with Dr. Thomson, 
the founder of the medical system of which he was an enthu- 
siastic promoter and physician. 

The Medical Pocket Book. Boston. Bowen. 1S22. 168 pp. 
16 mo. Elias Smith, M. D. [Elias Smith was ever called Doc- 
tor, Init whether he was an M. D. or where he obtained the de- 
gree, is not known to the writer.] B. P. L. 

The Minutes and Report of a Council, convened for the pur- 
pose of inquiring into the merits of a pamphlet entitled, "A 
Statement of the Conduct of Elias Smith toward Dr. Samuel 
Thomson." Boston, printed by H. Bowen, 1822. pp. 12, 12 mo. 
B. P. L. 

A Narrative of the Life and Medical Discoveries of Samuel 
Thomson, M. D., [1769-1843] containing an account of his system 
of practice, and the manner of curing diseases with vegetable 
medicine upon a plan entirely new. Second edition. 1825. B. 
P. L. 

[This book contains a chapter upon his relations with Elias 
Smith, concerning the system of their medical practice. It is 
the writer's mind that the discussion continued long, and each 
had his supporters. — A. T.] 



[TIic Aiiicricun Physlvian and FuniUij Assistant. In five parts, 
containing : 

I. A (icneral Description of Vegetaljle Medicines. 

II. The Manner of I'reparing them for Use. 

III. Description of Diseases, and Manner of Curing them. 

IV. A Description of Mineral and ^■eg■etal)le I'oisons, given by 
those called Regular Doctors, under the Name of Medicines. 

V. Health Variously Illustrated. 

Boston, 1826. Third edition ls:!2. Fourth edition ISI'.T. II. C. L. 
[Third edition, R. Coll.] 

The People's Bool;: Address on poison, health, disease, vegetable 
medicine and manner of curing the siclc. Boston, 1836. B. A. 


— — — i 

A <' 


L- \ 


•' lA V x.t>,^.P i-j ??x^-o S'r^ 


V/vr-/^ /<.V4t.|-^-f-